How would you map the overlooked peoples or places of Singapore?
I feel that the flora and fauna in Singapore are often overlooked as we usually just pass by or drive by these without paying attention. Or maybe when we do pay attention and wonder what kind of plants they are, we do not know how to identify them. We might have to scroll through a long list on the local plants website. This could also be used as an educational tool for students both young and old.
Or perhaps if we want to look for a certain species to study and appreciate, we could find out which are the places we could find them in. The National Parks website states 10 common local trees, and identifies the more unique ones but rarely has constantly updated information about the whereabouts and identities of all the species. The community could also help to develop this map by taking pictures of the plants and inputting their location using GPS. They could also make comments about the plant/place or any memories associated with it, or ask questions. (e.g. “my favourite tree”, “why is the plant unhealthy?”, “is this tree branch a hazard?”) The editing team could consist of those in the profession (e.g. researchers and botanists)
What else would we use if we didn’t use maps to find our sense of place?
We would need really well-designed directions and signboards placed everywhere so that we know where we are and how to get to our destinations, as well as how far it is. Information like landmarks, block numbers and schools need really big and noticeable signboards.
How would you map the sounds you hear every day? How would you map emotions?
It could function like any social media platform where a recording or image can be tagged with the precise location. People would be able to access these and find out the sounds of the area.
To map emotions, we could find out the feelings of people living in an area through interviews or surveys and express these emotions using colours (blue for sad, red for angry, yellow for happy) like in a mood-ring, temperature mapping or topography. If it is a web-based mapping, strangers would be able to express their emotions anywhere and anytime and hence affect these colours instantly.
The author uses her study on HCMC’s sidewalks to recommend a more holistic approach in designing the use and their regulations regarding public space. An integrated study is done to observe both the people and how they interact with that space. This also involves interviews done at the site to further understand the meaning and usage of that space. It is done to bridge both the functional engineering approach with the more visual and experience-oriented design approach. Awareness and openness are key attitudes to have during problem solving. As stated in the chapter, mapping can be a technique to “bring about conscious awareness and comprehension.” However, it is hard for me to visualise a map other than the typical version used for locating/ transporting purposes due to lack of exposure to other kinds of maps. As an aid, the writer at the end of the chapter gives questions to ask with regards to analysing maps and I find this helpful.
This writing, at the same time, triggers consciousness about the sidewalks in our own country and who is permitted to use them and in what way. Most Singaporeans walk along the sidewalk during commute. Those who are stationed there are usually licensed tissue sellers, ice cream vendors, and buskers (mostly the old). People are also hired to solicit business (e.g. property, insurance, memberships). There are also pop-up stores launching a new product or promotional items or sales. Students could be asking for donations with their tin cans. All these require permits by the authority. Those who wait by the roads freely could be looking for a taxi or conducting a survey. Sidewalks in Singapore are rarely waiting points due to the small spaces and the unwritten social rule to be considerate and not block people’s paths. Perhaps in HCMC there is a tolerance for more sidewalk “obstructions” due to their culture and mindset of what is acceptable and what is not.
Is cartography considered infographics? Infographics, in my mind, is also a way to represent data collected visually.
According to the author, mapping was multifunctional as it was both used to represent data as well as to improve research processes. For which purposes/researches would mapping be the best technique?