The idea of creative mapping is to use creative approaches to looking at and recording details of a chosen subject or area. Here are a few examples to illustrate the possibilities of creative mapping. These are just for inspiration and will hopefully stimulate ideas for your own mapping project…
Looking a little closer
You could choose to change your view of the place you live by looking at the area in a different way: you could map all the different colours in your street by taking close up photos or recreating the colour in a painted square – you could give each colour you paint a name that has a connection to your neighbourhood e.g. ‘garden fence green’ or ‘hill street blue’; you could take close up photographs everything you can find in your street that is green; you could photograph different textures – or take crayon rubbing of every different texture; you could create ‘collections’ of features/details found in your neighbourhood e.g. photograph all the street signs, all the front doors; all the trees etc.
Changing lights, changing seasons
You could choose a location in your neighbourhood and photograph the scene every hour over the course of one day, or at the same time every day for a month. The photographs in sequential order will show changes in light, weather or seasons. You could photograph the sky every day for two months; or photograph the leaves of a tree every week for six weeks.
Nature on our doorstep
Another mapping idea is to capture the changes and life cycles of plant life growing in the places we live. There’s a rich world of wildflower, grass species and trees growing under our feet that that easily escape our attention. You could map what’s growing on your doorstep, in spaces between paving stones, in the gaps in stone walls or on the grass verges.
You could focus on a specific area or site: perhaps a small patch of ground, a whole street or a whole neighbourhood. You could start by surveying and recording the wild flowers or trees growing within the boundary of your area/site then mark and label all your finds on a large-scale map. You could start a catalogue for each plant with drawings, photographs and written descriptions, and details of its identity for example. You could revisit the site on a regular basis, so that overtime you’ll see a change. You could re-record the plants each time you visit and capture the change as they produce flowers, leaves or seeds.