Community mapping for social justice


There are many different types of mapping. I am not talking about the maps that exist to maintain power, or land division. I am talking about community mapping, so we can see what exists, what doesn’t exist and what should exist to build community power.

This week I have been mapping groups that support the community across south west London and beyond. I have been using Google Maps as it is free, sharable and many people can collaborate on the same map.

Once you start adding to the map, you find all sorts of groups you never knew where there. If we can collaboratively build maps and share all the community knowledge we hold as individuals, it can be a really good tool to build community power.

There may be other ways we can use mapping to secure social change. Here is a map we created to show the unacceptable conditions of some homes that journalists have recently published. How do you think this could be used to achieve social change?

There are lots of different ways to map.
Gypsy and Traveller history and heritage in London – Mapping for Change shows what can be done with maps, this map shows includes oral history, documents, photos as a record of memories and histories.

Preston Council worked with the NHS to develop this tool kit which explores the many different ways to map together.

For the minute we are using Google Maps to build social justice across south west London.
Here is a short guide of how you can also community map:

Want to be a Social Justice Mapper using Google Maps?

Do you have an idea of something you would like to map?

It can range from bus driver depots in south west London to housing rights groups across the Europe. We can likely find a social justice issue that will be aided by a map, ie: bus drivers not getting appropriate protection from Covid-19 meeting in their bus depots or housing rights groups organising against damp homes.

If you create a map and would like to share with me, you can email me at communities@swllc.org or if you have an idea you would like to share please contact communities@swllc.org or call 0208 208 5757 so we can start plotting.

Want to contribute to an existing map? Could you help with one of ours?

I’ve been creating maps recently but really need other peoples knowledge and contributions. Each of us has a different interaction with communities and what ever yours is, it would be wonderful to include on our map.
Here is one of community groups across south west London that I need your help with:

Click here to view it online.

To get involved in our mapping contact Rhi!

Each of us of have a different experience. A different perspective. A different skill and a different insight.
Would you use yours to help map the community? You can share knowledge you already have or learn a new skill.
Call Rhi at 0208 208 5757
Email Rhi at communities@swllc.org