The biggest advantage that Transparent Chennai has in trying to facilitate the creation of a community generated map from Urur/Olcott Kuppam is the fact that a good friend of mine lives there and is a member of the Urur Kuppam Panchayat. His name is Saravana and he has been instrumental in organizing support and creating awareness about our initiative. I don’t have a picture of him as yet but I will put one up in the next blog post, which will feature his views on why he thinks the maps that we make will be useful for his community. It was based on his knowledge of the community that we decided to conduct mapping sessions with individual groups- the fishermen, the women and the youth to get a more comprehensive picture of all the activities at the Kuppam.
Step one included writing a proposal and getting it signed and approved by the Panchayat body and meeting individuals from the three groups. Convenient times to meet were discussed and we met with each group separately. During the meeting the groups deliberated on what they wanted on the map writing a final list, which was then coded with symbols (this became the Key). Participants from each group drew over google images of the coastline, which were printed out on A1 paper to display what was there and how they used the space around the village.
Proposal that was signed by the Panchayat:
Mapping on A1 google map printouts of the area:
Keys that were created:
How some google image printouts looked after it had been drawn over: