Module M10 - Participatory 3D Modelling

Unit M10U02 - Preparation of the Map Legend


This Unit enables the trainee to organise a process to elicit local knowledge (both explicit and tacit) and transform it into a structured legend prior to map making. The Unit describes how to develop a legend through interviewing local knowledge holders and culture bearers. Attention is given to linking locally elicited information with the coding system, which is later applied to the map or 3D model. The Unit also provides tips on good methods for eliciting legend terminology.

The techniques described below refer to Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM). Any participatory mapping method requires a good technique for developing the legend which draws on local cultural knowledge and provides a key for outsiders to understand the labels and names of the landscape features.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

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

  • discuss the implications of legend making;
  • discuss the challenges of languages;
  • describe the diversity in knowledge holders;
  • explain and assign legend items, symbols and attributes.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Preparation of the map legend (PPT No. 1) (45 min)
  2. Legend classification (Exercise No. 1) (60 min)
  3. Legend interviewing (Exercise No. 2) (70 min)

Components of the Unit


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



3 hours

Additional trainer resources

  • Rambaldi G. 2005. Who Owns the Map Legend? URISA Journal, 17(1): 5-13.
  • Rambaldi G, Muchemi J., Crawhall N. and Monaci L. 2007. Through the Eyes of Hunter-Gatherers: Participatory 3D Modelling among Ogiek Indigenous Peoples in Kenya. Information Development, Vol. 23, No. 2-3, 113-128

Equipment needed

Computer, beamer, coloured pencils, large paper for sketch maps, note blocks and pens for recording elicited legend items, assignment handouts for Exercise No. 1 and Exercise No. 2.

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