In his comment today, Prakash Kashwan asks, whether we have used local materials for doing Net-Map, which reminds me that I wanted to put together a slide show of “stackable things” that could be used as influence towers. So, the answer is yes, and things that we have used include local board game pieces, bicycle ball bearings, nuts (as in “bolt and nut” not as in “nuts and raisins”) and bottle caps.
We tried beans and pebbles but because you can’t pile them up neatly, it ends up looking like someone has thrown some stones on your net-map and doesn’t really help understanding the complex visual representation better.
Its nice to have actor figurines and especially when working with illiterate interviewees, it helps to distinguish the different actors but it’s more important to have something to build influence towers with. So if you don’t have actor figurines, Net-Map without.
One request: If you have pictures of influence towers from local materials, send them to me and I’ll post them. And, if you use Net-Map and want to share your experience in a (half page or so) blog post, or a longer case study (see case study section for inspiration), please send it to me, so that we can slowly but surely build this into a collaborative community of knowledge.
Filed under: technical details