Module M08 - Ground and Sketch Mapping


This Module covers a group of mapping methods which can be clustered under the title “ground and sketch mapping”. It introduces trainees to the methods – theoretically and practically (i.e. off field).

Ground and sketch mapping are widely used for representing spatial issues at local (i.e. village and household) levels. The methods consist of community members drawing maps on the soil (ground mapping) or on large sheets of craft paper (sketch mapping) from memory. Ground or sketch mapping may represent the first steps within more articulated and technologically advanced mapping processes.

Through these methods people can visualise their spatial knowledge and their perceptions of spatial features. These methods do not rely on exact measurements, a consistent scale or geo-referencing. Therefore they are marginally useful when location, distance or surface accuracy are required.

Ground and sketch mapping are useful to engage non-expert users, are low-cost and not technology-dependent and are easily facilitated and appropriated by the participants. In addition, ground maps are tactile, intuitive and compiled using any available materials.

Module objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Module the trainees will be able to describe and differentiate ground and sketch mapping, explain the characteristics of ground and sketch mapping, conduct ground and sketch mapping and discuss strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of ground and sketch mapping.

Content outline and main topics covered


4-5 hrs. If Exercise No. 2 (transect walk) is included, the Module may take up to 2 days.

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