Author: Ryan Murphy, Jennifer DeCoste & Heather Laird
Open Social Mapping is an emerging paradigm for stakeholder engagement in systemic design projects. It combines actor mapping, network modelling and analysis, customer relationship management systems, and crowdsourcing in a method that allows stakeholders to map themselves within a system. Based on observations of some early examples of this tool and two case studies led by the authors, we describe some of the opportunities and challenges of Open Social Mapping. Open Social Maps re-center the stakeholder in the systemic design process, helping designers make data-driven decisions with real-time data while decentralizing systemic design by facilitating stakeholder access and agency to the design process. However, we must address issues of data collection and maintenance, privacy, power and privilege, bad actors, interoperability, and information quality for this tool to become mainstream.