Module M10 - Participatory 3D Modelling

Unit M10U01 - Introduction to Participatory 3D Modelling


This Unit is designed to introduce trainees to the concept of Participatory Three-Dimensional Modelling (P3DM), in which physical models of a territory are used to facilitate the articulation and visualisation of mental maps by local knowledge holders.

P3DM has been conceived as a method for bringing the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) closer to rural communities and for bridging the gap that exists between geographic information technologies and capacities found among marginalised and isolated communities who are frequently dependent on natural resources.

The method is used worldwide and offers a range of opportunities.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • describe the P3DM process;
  • discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of P3DM.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Introduction of the “Democracy Walls” (Exercise No. 1) (5 min)
  2. Introduction of the Module (PPT No. 1) (10 min)
  3. About Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) (PPT No. 2) (30 min). The PPT includes the screening of a five-minute video, “Knowledge and cultural transmission in Kenyan participatory mapping”.
  4. Video on P3DM (Multimedia) (25 min)
  5. The P3DM Process (PPT No.3) (30 min)
  6. Reflections based on feedback featured on the Democracy Walls (Exercise No.1) (30 min)

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)




2 hrs and 20 min

Additional trainer resources

  • Rambaldi G. and Callosa-Tarr J. 2002. Participatory 3-Dimensional Modelling: Guiding Principles and Applications. ARCBC, Los Baños, Philippines
  • 2002. "Giving Voice to the Unspoken": a 20-minute video production showing the hands-on aspects of Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM).
  • Rambaldi G. 2008. Democracy Walls, Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) 58:134–137; IIED, London, UK

Equipment needed

Computer, beamer, five large sheets of craft paper (1.2 m x 1.8 m), push pins, masking tape (7 cm wide), scissors, marker pens, A5 paper sheets or metacards (at least 15 per participant), A4 sheets of paper with the five headings printed in large letters and a glue stick.

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