Interactive maps for the production of knowledge and the promotion of participation from the perspective of communication, journalism, and digital humanities

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information


Pedro Molina Rodríguez-Navas, Johamna Muñoz Lalinde, Narcisa Medranda Morales


New technologies have allowed traditional map production criteria to be modified or even subverted. Starting from the communication sciences—journalism in particular—and digital humanities via the history of communication, we show how to use interactive digital maps for the production and publication of knowledge through and/or for participation. Firstly, we establish the theoretical-conceptual framework necessary to base the practices, dividing the elements into three areas: interactive maps and knowledge production (decentralization, pluralization, reticularization, and humanization), maps as instruments to promote political and social participation (egalitarianism, horizontality, and criticism), and maps as instruments for the visualization of data that favors the user experience (interactivity, multimediality, reticularity of reading, and participation). Next, we present two cases that we developed to put into practice the theoretical concepts that we established: the Mapa Infoparticipa (Infoparticipa Map), which shows the results of the evaluation of the transparency of public administrations, and the Ciutadania Plural (Plural Citizenship) web platform for the production of social knowledge about the past and the present. This theoretical and practical model shows the possibilities of interactive maps as tools to promote political participation and as instruments for the construction of social knowledge in a collaborative, participatory, networked way.