You Are Here: Home » Media & Technology » Mapping a Planet Under Pressure

Mapping a Planet Under Pressure

The best linear narratives, demonstrated ably by my fellow ThinkBrigaders, will always have the power to move and inform a global audience;  however, the relentless stream of linear news can also be isolating, polarizing and a barrier to understanding.

One of the ideas driving ThinkBrigade is the need to find new collaborative ways to communicate complex, global events that elude compression into a simple linear narrative; ways to see the eddying structures in the stream and immediate events in their wider systemic context. News cartography – the creation of dynamic, interactive, collaboratively editable and shareable maps of the stories – is one of the most promising responses to this challenge.

Over the coming months, I will we working with the ThinkBrigade team to develop interactive visual maps of the issues underlying some of the stories covered in the magazine; starting with a map of the Planet Under Pressure conference, which Ban Ki-moon addressed in London at the end of last month.

The conference gathered 3,000 leading scientists, policy makers, NGOs and businesses to explore how the scientific community can develop and share the knowledge necessary to (i) identify the risks humanity faces from the Anthropocene and (ii) respond wisely to the policy choices this presents – and the dynamic knowledge map of the main arguments, evidence and policy options discussed at the conference, which we are developing with the conference organizers, will be shared with a global audience in the build up to the UN Rio +20 conference and beyond.

The work-in-progress on the map is embedded above and you can open the full screen map here. Click on the bubbles to read the detailed underlying text and experiment with the Outline and +View options to zoom into specific issues and zoom out to see clusters of ideas. After registering and logging-in, you can contribute new ideas and citations to the map, rate the significance of the different options and arguments, and be alerted to changes as the content and structure of the map continue to evolve.

You can learn more about the meaning of the different colours and arrows and the different ways of looking at the map in the Help system here, and help to disseminate the ideas globally by sharing the link via social networks and embedding the map (like a YouTube video) in your own website.

Open the map full screen

Clip to Evernote

About The Author(s)

David Price

News Cartographer

Co-founder of, a creative commons, social enterprise that aims to make the best arguments on all sides of complex public debate freely available to all, and continuously open to challenge and improvement by all.

Comments (6)

  • Kevin Rennie

    I love this stuff. The details panel is magic. How do we fill out the blank ones?

  • David Price

    Thanks, Kevin: there’s an “Edit details” link in the bottom left corner of the Details text area – see for example, here: If you click on this, when you are logged-in, the link opens a Rich Text Editor that let’s you embed images, videos, tables, documents etc (as well as writing longer text). You can also toggle the editor into HTML mode – e.g. to paste-in video embed code – via the HTML button shown at the bottom of Editor screen (once the Editor is open).

  • Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

    Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

    This is really impressive David! Thanks and I look forward to use it in future.

    • David Price

      Thanks, Pabitra – and you are free and welcome to use the mapping tool on any of your own projects at any time (and if you would like any guidance on this, just let me know).

  • oliver


    this looks GREAT! thanks for offering this to the public!
    – at first sight, this looks like PeronalBrain (which I rely on for my own) concept mapping, but it´s way(!) better. especially opening this to collaborative work, mkes this great.

    I immediately consider using it for a course I will give with a colleague.

    … the one thing I am thinking about – after some experiences with “clever” software, and resources on the net, that are so good that you get to rely on it, is this:
    how can I be safe using it for an open amount of time, that I can control? what is the scenario, should this server go down, your project expire or anything likewise…?!
    – a convincing answer to this will buy me in, I guess…! :-)

    best + thanks again!


Leave a Comment

© 2012 - ThinkBrigade with support by the European Journalism Centre (EJC).

Scroll to top