climaps.eu, a global issue atlas of adaptation to climate change, is online

Climate change is happening; we have no choice but to adapt. Yet how are we going to live with a changing climate? How are we going to share the burden of adaptation among countries, regions and communities? How to be fair to all human and non-human beings affected by such a planetary transition? Since our [...]

Maps on climate change adaptation / Part one : international negotiations

March 20th, 2014

Dear all,

We are very proud to introduce the results of the EMAPS first data Sprint (Paris January 6th to 10th 2014) and share them with you.

The UNFCCC negotiations was the topic we selected as an important arena for global governance of climate change & adaptation. This arena produces a lot of data which we collected and used to build the visualisatons. Here is the total list of “raw” data visualized in the 4 mapping projects we are sharing now:

  • All UNFCCC available documents, in particular : COP proceding reports, SBSTA & SBI meeting reports, side events list, adaptation committee documents,  NAPA Project Database available, National Adaptation Programmes of Action: Index of NAPA Projects by Sector
  • Scientific literature on adaptation
  • IPCC reports
  • Earth Negotiations Bulletins
  • Climate Funds Update database
  • OECD DAC ODA (Official Development Aid) database from 2010 to 2012
  • Data on Adaptation Funds board members (Global Environment Facility, Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund and of the World Bank PPCR)
  • World Bank database

Browse the results of the Sprint below:
(or click here to download all the visualizations in a single pdf)

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Mapping Climate Change Vulnerability together with its Indexes

May 10th, 2014

Post by Sophie Waterloo and Richard Rogers

The Amsterdam EMAPS sprint (March 24th-28th 2014), entitled ‘Coping with Vulnerability to Climate Change: Adaptation, its Limits and Post-adaptation Mechanisms’, was dedicated to the mapping of climate change vulnerabilities, vulnerability indexes and adaptation across a variety of relevant information, media and policy spaces. We are happy to share some of the findings that resulted from the 6 mapping projects that were developed, in two formats. First, below please find links to detailed project pages, with the research questions, methods, findings as well as the visualization output. Second we have created a pdf walk-through — a slide show to view the main findings at a glance (download document here). We would like to thank all the participants and the climate change experts who were able to join us in Amsterdam and whose input helped make this sprint productive.

The mapping projects were inspired by the climate change experts invited to present the current state of the art in the field as well as their analytical needs with respect to the topics of climate change adaptation, public policy, risk and vulnerability monitoring. Hans-Martin Füssel of the European Environment Agency provided insights into the opportunities and pitfalls of vulnerability mapping, explaining the differences in interpreting vulnerability and the varied outcomes each type of mapping produces. The work inspired questions concerning the extent to which adaptation and mitigation policies, as a way to manage vulnerability within Europe, compete and compliment, and how different ethical perspectives on vulnerability would influence the allocation of funding for European countries. Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy followed with a discussion on the difficulties associated with the assessment of vulnerability on an academic as well as a political level, encouraging critical thought about the purposes of vulnerability indices, and their use cases. Matthew McKinnon from the United Nations Developed Programme (UNDP) and Editor of DARA’s Climate Vulnerability Monitor talked about the approaches, applications and actions of measuring the impact of climate change on a global scale. He introduced thinking about the emerging issues of food security, human mobility and the militarization of the Arctic, all as a result of vulnerability to climate change. Lastly, Sönke Kreft, Team Leader of International Climate Policy at Germanwatch, provided methodological considerations, key messages and limitations from Germanwatch’s Climate Risk Index, which initiated the idea of examining the users and uses of vulnerability indexes.

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climaps.eu, a global issue atlas of adaptation to climate change, is online

November 21st, 2014

Climate change is happening; we have no choice but to adapt. Yet how are we going to live with a changing climate? How are we going to share the burden of adaptation among countries, regions and communities? How to be fair to all human and non-human beings affected by such a planetary transition? Since our collective life depends on these questions, they deserve discussion, debate and even controversy.

To provide some help to navigate in the uncharted territories that lead to our future, the three-year EMAPS project has produced an electronic atlas called Climaps.

The atlas offers 33 data visualizations. They deal with topics ranging from the funding of adaptation, the calculations of vulnerability to climate change, to the scenarios of the future in the cli-fi literature. The atlas also proposes 5 issue stories that bind together visualizations to produce novel narratives about climate change adaptation.

Digital data have been harvested, processed and visualized through a unique methodology created by the teams involved in EMAPS, which the médialab coordinated until its end on October 31st. This methodology involves working right from the start with the communities of experts that the maps are addressing. In the future, it could be applied to other issues of societal and political relevance.

EMAPS (Electronic Maps to Assist Public Science) was funded under the EU FP7 Science in Society Programme.

For more information write us at info@climaps.eu.

Article centrality measures in the Wikipedia hyperlink network

November 8th, 2012

In this post we have drawn the network of hyperlinks connecting Wikipedia articles related to climate change. Now we will focus on how to identify the most central articles in the network.

Applying different metrics we can study which issues are more central within our set of articles according to different criteria:

  • In/Out-degree: number of incoming/outgoing links. It measure centrality as the number of connections with other nodes.
  • Pagerank: like in-degree, but the weight of each incoming connection depends on the importance of the corresponding node; weights are computed iteratively. It can be seen as the probability of reaching a node when following a random walk in the graph.
  • Betweenness: number of shortest paths from all vertices to all others that pass through the given node (i.e.: how often the given node lies on the shortest path between a pair of nodes). It quantifies the importance of a node as a bridge between different nodes or groups in the network.
  • Closeness: Average distance from a node to all the other nodes in the network. It represents centrality as the ability to reach the other nodes in few steps.

Oxford workshop: a visual evaluation of issue maps

October 22nd, 2012

On October 12, we met in London Maria Parsons, Margaret Melling from MM Consulting, Penny Thewlis and Diana Roberts from Age UK. The meeting was mediated by our Young Foundation partners Lucy Kimbell and Kat Jurgnickel.

Our aim was to have feedback from a group of users playing an important role in the Ageing controversy, in order to get a consistent assessment on the analyzed data and on the graphic solutions of the latest visualizations.

The visualizations were based on a dataset provided by Sciences Po and aimed to answer three questions decided together with Young Foundation and Maria Parsons:

1. What is living well with dementia?
2. What are the public health and social care messages about ageing and dementia?
3. Are older people assets or deficits?
Each issue had been studied by Sciences Po in order to focus better on data available on the net, through digital methods, and formulate more specific questions.

Q1: What is living well with dementia?
a-Which online resources aim at helping people to live well with dementia?


The first set of data was built with the aim to understand which resources are available online to help older people with dementia. Sciences Po selected then a list of dementia-related blogs run by elderly people living in UK.

This first visualization shows the links between these blogs.

 

PROS: Users demonstrated a certain interest in this map because it highlights the connections and relationships between blogs, which wouldn’t be immediately understandable while netsurfing.

CONS: Unrelated blogs were presented as a separated list, which was interpreted as a legend at first.

As a second step we showed the same set of data spatialized with Gephi.

 

PROS: Most of the users expressed a preference for this visualization because it emphasizes clusters while connections are easier to read compared to the first graphic solution.
CONS: One of the users remarked that this type of representation looks chaotic and complicated; she compared it to a spider web.

In the following step the blogs in the corpus have been crawled in order to build a second, wider network. Since the results of the crawl were not yet available, we built a sample dataset and used it to develop different visualizations.

 

It was very difficult for the users to focus on the visualization since they knew it was built on a sample dataset, so we were able to get just a few feedbacks:
- Table 1: ”There is too much data, it would be better to remove the connections between the blogs already showed in the first visualization.”
- Table 2 (tree map): This kind of representation isn’t easy to understand for those who had never seen it, while those who could already read it, aren’t able to compare the areas size.

Q2: What are the public health and social care messages about ageing and dementia?
a- Which linguistic expressions are most frequently used by public health and social care institutions when talking about aging and dementia?

This visualization shows a bipartite network between documents and keywords. It’s the result of a semantic analysis of Ageing and Dementia related documents provided by the Young Foundation.
The visualization highlights the most important keywords and their links to the documents.

 

 

PROS: Users seem very interested in the network, although they didn’t immediately understand it. However the visualization could potentially be useful. Thanks to the mediation of Mrs. Parsons, the other users were able to find the clusters and to explain us the closeness of some keywords to the documents.
They also suggested to create a similar visualization to show the evolution of blogs and websites over the course of time and to build interactive visualizations to favour the exploration of the data.

CONS:
- At a first glance they couldn’t understand the difference between a network and a tagcloud. One of the users referred to as the biggest node of the network as a“big centre of something”, without understanding the structure of the visualization she was watching.

- They didn’t understand the spatialization made with Gephi, they erroneously thought that only the documents and the keywords in the center of the network were important.

- They tried to follow the links but they expressed some confusion.
-They were confused by the use of the same node shape for documents and keywords

On the basis of their feedback we think it would be useful to create a guided exploration of the maps, helping users to read them. One possible solution could be to create some overlapping levels that explain the data collection process and the creation of the network.

 

Q3: Are older people assets or deficits?
a- In different European web-spheres, which images are used to picture older people?

This third set of visualizations aims to show the results of a search on Google Images. The data were collected from Sciences Po, using “Old Age” as a query translated into various languages and searched in the different national domains of Google.
The images obtained were classified according to two criteria:
- Older people portrayed as active and healthy / Older people portrayed as ill or in need
- Ageing portrayed as an enjoyable period of life / Ageing portrayed as suffering

 

PROS: They thought it’s useful to understand how people with dementia are represented and it could be useful also related to other media.

CONS: -They expressed their interest for the visualization, but they didn’t look carefully at the pictures or compare the results in different countries.
They showed some difficulty in understanding the importance of this set of data in relation to their work and they couldn’t tell if the classification made sense.

 

Conclusions
Users were very fascinated by the possibility to obtain data from the web, to create relations and visualize them, making information accessible to the public.

We noticed that users were interested in the data only when they were explicitly involved or represented in the visualizations.

One of the users underlined the importance to promote a collaboration between the stakeholders, and to create a dialogue between who collects the data and the final users to make visualizations answering their needs.

This experience remarked that the only way to understand the real effectiveness of the diagrams is to observe users interacting with them, while direct questions about the meaningfulness of the maps don’t lead to a reliable feedback.

Workshop in Oxford | The visualizations

October 22nd, 2012

Question 1: What is living well with dementia?

a-Which online resources aim at helping people to live well with dementia?
—— Young Foundation dataset

 

 —— SAMPLE DATA

 

—— SAMPLE DATA

 

Question 2: What are the public health and social care messages about ageing and dementia?
a- Which linguistic expressions are most frequently used by public health and social care institutions when talking about aging and dementia?

 

Question 3: Are older people assets or deficits?
a- In different European web-spheres, which images are used to picture older people?

 

 

What we learned from engaging with ageing issue professionals

October 18th, 2012

 

What are issue maps and what are they for?

The aim of this post is to share some reflections following our session exploring the most recent batch of maps with potential users in Oxford last Friday. Three of us who were there agreed to write posts: Michele Mauri from Milano who is leading the work on the design of the maps; Kat Jungnickel, a freelancer with a background in ethnography/STS who has been doing participant observation with an issue professional for The Young Foundation, and me. Mine will focus on the interesting and difficult questions that lie at the heart of the EMAPS project: What could the maps be (and for who), what are they for, and how do we work together to create them in an iterative process? My questions and attempts at answers are situated in the project’s work over recent months on the topic of ageing, and my own practice/research in social design and service design.

The Young Foundation’s role in the EMAPS project is about public engagement – helping identify and engage participants in the project who are probably not researchers (in the academy) but what Richard Rogers calls ‘issue professionals’, for whom research is probably part of their work. At our EMAPS meeting in mid-June 2012, we (my former colleague Jacques Mizan and I) brought together around 25 such people from the UK working in different ways in relation to the ageing issue, from different kinds of organizational context from consultants, public service managers, to volunteers, to care workers. We found it hard to work out who to invite (and get them in the room) because we were not sure what the proposed issue maps on ageing might be for. We know that the EMAPS project aims to design maps of controversies and explore their purposes in relation to complex collective issues. But in our day-to-day interactions we did not find it easy to summarise the project when talking to our colleagues within The Young Foundation or in discussion with potential participants. We did not understand how such maps might fit within the work practices of people who work within the ageing issue, which are of course diverse and shaped by different kinds of professional expertise and knowledge.

The EMAPS-wide project discussion that followed that workshop in June then lead to our next phase of work, which took us in a new direction: away from showing people the latest maps and asking for feedback, or asking what they might do with them, or what other maps they might find useful, towards understanding one issue professional’s work practices, and designing maps for her as a kind of lead user (von Hippel 1986). From Kat’s analysis of Maria’s work practices (documented earlier on this blog), the EMAPS team in Paris and Milano then created maps that aimed to help her answer her ‘research questions’. So on Friday, we created a workshop in two sessions. First we showed Maria the latest maps (lead by Kat and Michele and Benedetta) and got Maria’s responses drawing on her deeper knowledge of the project through her work with Kat. We also asked for her feedback about what we planned to do after lunch, when we broadened the discussion by bringing in three other ageing issue professionals, known to Maria. We (Kat and I) had decided that rather than asking for their feedback, we wanted to elicit responses to the maps by asking them to try to do some tasks with them – which we checked with Maria.

We thought that giving these professionals opportunities to try to use the maps to perform a task similar to the sorts of things they already do, and then watching and interviewing them as they did this, would give us insights into the research questions within EMAPS. After a brief introduction to Map 2 (the “milky way” map that shows linguistic terms drawn from a corpus of documents on ageing and dementia, we asked them to do the following tasks:

 

MAP 2: What are the public health and social care messages about ageing and dementia?

TASK (work together): You are developing a campaign aimed at people to increase awareness around the parents and neighbours having dementia. What are the core messages you want to communicate? Use the map to see.

Having presented a task relevant to their world, the participants then looked at the maps as they began to try to think through what the map was presenting them with. Quite quickly we moved away from the task. Later, we did not insist on using the task we had prepared for Map 1 as by then the conversations flowed well and also the sense of asking “What would I do with this map?” By they time we looked at the set of maps of type Map 3 (images from Google searches for ageing), we no longer needed a task to get them to engage, but we did repeatedly ask what they might use these maps for and how and when.

This approach draws heavily on a design/research field I will go on to explore a bit later. As well as actively participating in the session (Michele, Benedetta, Kat and I) we also documented the activities with audio, video, photography and taking notes.

 

Here are some of my initial observations – which may appear bleedingly obvious to some of our research partners – but are perhaps worth of noting down here, if only to show much work it takes to involve someone who is not a specialist in digital methods or issue mapping, in understanding what the maps might be (for) and what it takes for them to be of use. They may of course be completely different to the views of Kat, Michele and Benedetta although we of course discussed what we did, what we observed and participated in and what we made of it through the day.

 

Finding 1

The maps can only ‘work’ if these aspects come together:

-       An understanding of the user’s worlds and work practices and the purposes to which maps can be put

-       Data and their provenance, relevance and reliability that fit with the user’s requirements in relation to the things they want to achieve

-       A method that translates what the user might want to achieve in her world, into a research question, into a question that a map could answer, into a way to gather data and analyse it for presentation within a map

-       A visual presentation of the data/question/key/legend that fits within the understandings the user has about her world

 

Finding 2

The maps can be used for these purposes (and probably many others):

-       Understanding the ageing issue and how it is constituted

-       Reframing or thinking differently about the ageing issue based on what the maps show

-       Provoking discussion about controversies within ageing between different people looking at or using maps

-       Verifying or challenging an existing understanding of the ageing issue

-       Seeing new sets of relationships (eg between actors or linguistic terms or concepts) in relation to the ageing issue

 

Finding 3

We need to do more work to understand how these various purposes come into play in different professional contexts and through various disciplinary practices. From observing the four issue professionals in the room in Oxford we noted quite different responses to the same map, even though they shared some common projects and knowledge about the ageing issue and its actors. For example one participant said that the map of linguistic expressions from the corpus of documents (Map 2 – the milky way map) was not useful, whereas two others strongly believed it was and that it was something they could use for example to help them align their own grant-funding bids or proposals to funders’ or commissioner’s current concerns. While this is partly the result of the visual presentation of the data, it is also about how participants grappled with understanding what the map is, and where the data come from, and what the map offers them as a resource. We suspect that these responses are shaped by many factors including cognitive and learning styles, and disciplinary practices about how research and strategy are done in organizations of different kinds.

Other perspectives

I now want to turn to a field that I think EMAPS can learn from, and which has certainly shaped how The Young Foundation (through my interventions) has participated in the project. Participatory Design (PD) is a field that combines a Scandinavian political/social commitment to worker empowerment, with a practical understanding of collective design. Much of the research/practice in PD has focused on the design of software. One of the leading contributors to PD is Pelle Ehn (see Ehn 1988). More recently several researchers (who often design software as part of their research) are exploring STS/ANT in relation to this design work (eg Ehn 2008; Binder et al 2011; Andersen et al 2011).

Some of the learning in this field is:

-       How to understand and design for “use” (eg within existing practices) and how “design” relates to use by re-configuring practices or involving the creation of new practices (eg Ehn 1988; Suchman et al 1998; Redstorm 2008).

-       How design-work can be thought of as performatively constituting the new relations between actors involved  (eg Hartswood et al 2002; Andersen et al 2011).

-       How to understand participation in design work eg thinking of their active participation as language games (Ehn 1988).

 

How we go forward

At our EMAPS meeting in June, we agreed that The Young Foundation would host an ‘issue safari’ in November 2012 bringing together a wider group of issue professionals working on ageing, to explore the latest iteration of the maps. In my email to the wider EMAPS team a couple of weeks ago, I again proposed that we create some tasks that are meaningful within the worlds of such professionals. We prototyped this approach in Oxford last Friday, and it worked well enough to provoke a conversation that surfaced what would the participants do with these maps, from which we then meandered onwards and outwards. In response Tommaso pointed out that the EMAPS researchers will be on hand to guide participants through the safari, which sounds great – until we have to explain it to someone who is a busy professional.

I now think we have a couple of options to consider before we finalise what we do at the end of November:

1. Find someone with an existing task related to ageing, that we could work in relation to and modify/create some maps for. An example from one of our participants from Friday is working on the creation of a new ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’– a framework for gathering, sharing and interpreting data about needs relating to older people in Oxfordshire (in social care and healthcare). However I don’t think this is going to work for two reasons. First, although this project is happening and could suit our project in some ways, the data they need are mostly regional, not national or cross-European, and are probably not available online and therefore not available easily to EMAPS. Secondly, the participant did not find the maps we shared on Friday to be that useful although they were ‘interesting’. Although very involved in the collective sharing and use of data in relation to ageing, this participant seemed not to value the purposes I suggest above eg provoking discussion about controversies within ageing between different people looking at or using maps; verifying or challenging an existing understanding of the ageing issue; seeing new sets of relationships (eg between actors or linguistic terms or concepts) in relation to the ageing issue. So we don’t propose following this up.

2. Create some tasks in collaboration with a couple of participants (eg Maria – but she’s about to leave the UK for three months) which are recognizable to them and others and draw directly on their work practices. Eg further developing the tasks we proposed on Friday. I have had discussions with my Young Foundation colleague Sue Nunn who is now going to work on the EMAPS project with us, and she can identify several issue professionals within ageing/social care who she thinks do the kind of work of pattern recognizing/strategic overviewing that we think the maps support. We suspect that this will lead to requests from us to Paris/Amsterdam/Milano to adapt the current set of maps and possibly use new data (eg possibly documents they can supply us with). We’ll get back to you next week with more on this.

 

Some wider questions

And finally, a series of questions for EMAPS going forward. Please accept my apologies if I have misunderstood some aspects of the project and these questions are already taken care of in different ways.  Below I used the terminology from the Participatory Design field (“use” and “design”) – which may not be right (especially as they separate out design and use) but at least offer a way in to helping understand what the maps might be for, so EMAPS can design better maps.

 

-       Understanding use before design. In this ageing project, we were able to recruit Maria and use Kat to work closely with her to develop a shared understanding of her work practices to support EMAP designing maps that are more closely aligned to the questions she has. Are there plans for years 2&3 to learn from this and work closely with users (in the way Kat did) to translate their practices into research questions for maps, before designing and producing them? I know there is a conversation between EMAPS and the weADAPT community which involves sharing maps (or right now, wireframes of future maps) with them and asking for responses. However I am talking about something additional and in more depth – which involves using an ethnographic approach to studying the practices of people within the weADAPT community – not just asking them what they think of maps, after we have designed them.

-       Understanding use after design. Much of the researcher effort in EMAPS seems to focus on designing the methods, gathering the data, designing the maps and engaging participants, but I wonder if there might be resources to focus on how the maps get used as boundary objects (eg Carlile 2002) in work contexts: This would add a focus on how they are used once we are finished.

-       Involving participants directly in fast participatory design. There is another possibility, which draws on the PD tradition in another way which would look like this: inviting people from the weADAPT community to take part in a practical workshop with EMAPS, in which we do a very fast cycle of understanding their work practices and research questions, translating this to a set of questions that EMAPS could answer, creating questions and gathering data, and producing maps, and then watching what they do with them – all over two days.

Apologies for the busy blog post but I felt it was time to synthesize a number of conversations we’ve been having at The Young Foundation.

 

References

Andersen, T., Halse, J., Moll, J. (2011): Design Interventions as Multiple Becomings of Healthcare. Nordes ’11: the 4th Nordic Design Research Conference – Making Design Matter. Helsinki, Finland, May 29 -31, 2010. pp. 11-20.

Binder, T. Giorgio De Michelis, Pelle Ehn, Giulio Jacucci, Giulio Linde and Ina Wagner. 2011. Design Things. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Carlile, P. 2002. “A Pragmatic View of Knowledge and Boundaries: Boundary Objects in New Product Development.” Organization Science, 13(4): 442-455.

Ehn, P. 1988. Work-Oriented Design of Computer Artifacts. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Ehn, P. 2008. “Participation in Design Things.” In Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary Conference on Participatory Design 2008 (PDC ’08). Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA, 92-101.

Hartswood, M., R. Procter, R. Slack, A. Voss, M. Büscher, and M. Rouncefield. 2002. “Co-realisation: towards a principled synthesis of ethnomethodology and participatory design.” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 14(2): 9–30.

Hippel, Eric (1986) “Lead Users: A Source of Novel Product Concepts,” Management Science 32, no. 7 (July): 791-805.

Redström, J. (2008). RE: Definitions of use. Design Studies, 29(4), 410-423.

Suchman, L., Blomberg, J., Orr, J., & Trigg, R. (1998). Reconstructing technologies as social practice. The American Behavioral Scientist, 43(3).

 

Preparing for the EMAPS workshop in Oxford

October 14th, 2012

Lucy and I have been preparing for the next workshop on the developing maps to be held in Oxford on Friday (12th October). In addition to our lead ‘user’, we have invited four health and social care professionals, who are all experts in their fields (policy, volunteer organisations, advocacy, arts).

The aim of the session is threefold: (1) elicit discussion about what maps are useful and for what purposes, (2) observe, listen, record and synthesize information about the use and purpose of maps and (3) ascertain “what these maps do” for these people and how they could use them.

The way we intend to achieve these objectives involves three stages:

- Present each core question on which the maps are based

- Discuss what this core question/issue means to health and social care professionals. ie.How it matters to their work? How and in what ways it matters to their colleagues?

- Show the map/s and set a group task in which participants are asked to use the map to ascertain directions/ outcomes. Further discussion will be encouraged.

We will be documenting the workshop in various ways; notes, audio, video and still photos.

Visual models for complex social issues – suggestions

October 4th, 2012

On Monday 8th at Politecnico di Milano we are starting with our new master course “Visual models for complex social issues” (see last year: http://www.densitydesign.org/courses/integrated-course-final-synthesis-studio/). The first part will be dedicated to the visualization of structured official datasets on climate change adaptation. To prepare this we have been analyzing the data sources provided by Dortmund University, that you can see in the previous post.

We extracted a few subthemes of climate change we thought could be interesting to explore, also in the perspective of adaptation and the exercise that will follow, which will involve controversy mapping.

The themes we elicited from the data sources are:

  • water resources
  • soil
  • pollution
  • energy
  • population (settlements, migration, etc.)
  • biodiversity
  • economy

As we will be needing at least 5 subthemes of climate change and relative datasets, we would like to ask all EMAPS partners for some suggestions, both for the list of subject areas and for other structured data sources (eg. .csv, .xls) that could be useful and interesting. Thanks!

Climate change adaptation websites and resources

October 4th, 2012

When looking for climate change adaptation resources at the regional and local level the problem is that most of the information is only available in local languages of the different countries which makes things difficult to access and to use. Nevertheless there are – apart from the weADAPT and Climate Funds Update websites – some other websites and resources in English which can be helpful for the climate change strand of the EMAPS project:

UKCIP

UKCIP supports adaptation to the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. UKCIP coordinates and influences research into adapting to climate change, and encourages organisations to use their tools and information to help them consider their climate risks and how to adapt. There are links to essentials (frameworks, definitions), tools (supporting instruments), government (who is involved where and why), case studies and resources.

ESPON Climate

The ESPON project 2013/1/4 “Climate change and territorial effects on regions and local economies” deals with the impacts of climate change on the European regions and their economies as well as the consequences for spatial planning. Therefore the project seeks to analyse the regional sensitivities towards climate stimuli and the likely economic effects of climate change on European regions also considering mitigation and adaptation measures. Eventually, the project aims at the development of new potential regional typologies with respect to the multitude of aspects and consequences in the context of climate change. At the ESPON website you will find all the main reports as well as reports from the case studies Alpine Space, Tisza River (Hungary), North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Mediterranean Coast of Spain, Bergen (Norway), The Netherlands and Coastal Aquifers. Data on the ESPON projects is provided via the ESPON 2013 Database.

Climate Research – The Netherlands

The joint website of the Dutch “Climate changes Spatial Planning” Programme and the “Knowledge for Climate” Research Programme provides information on the programmes themselves, projects that have been funded, methods and approaches, publications and case studies. Both programmes have a slightly different focus: The Climate changes Spatial Planning Programme enhances joint-learning between communities and people in practice within spatial planning, with the themes climate scenarios, mitigation, adaptation, integration and communication, The Knowledge for Climate Research Programme develops knowledge and services, focusing on eight Hotspots (Schiphol Mainport, Haaglanden Region, Rotterdam Region, Major Rivers, South-West Netherlands Delta, Shallow waters and peat meadow areas, Dry rural areas, Wadden Sea, Delta Alliance) enabling the climate proofing of the Netherlands.

Climate Change Adaptation Resource

This website brings together a wide collection of knowledge, lessons and experience from five countries across the Northern Periphery, who participated in the NPP Clim-ATIC project from 2008 to 2011. Twelve communities worked in partnership with researchers and local authorities, to develop their capacity to adapt to the impacts of current and future climate changes, under the themes of transport, energy, risk management and tourism. This knowledge can be freely accessed in a variety of ways using the links above, either via viewing case studies directly or through the targeted training material.

National Adaptation Programmes of Action

National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change – those for which further delay would increase vulnerability and/or costs at a later stage. The main content of NAPAs is a list of ranked priority adaptation activities and projects, as well as short profiles of each activity or project, designed to facilitate the development of proposals for implementation of the NAPA. To facilitate access to project details from the NAPAs, the secretariat has developed a NAPA Project Database.

European Environment Agency

By providing information on climate change in Europe, the EEA supports the implementation of legislation on climate mitigation and adaptation in Europe, the evaluation of EU policies and the development of long-term strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. EEA’s information (data, indicators, assessments, projections) focuses on climate change mitigation (greenhouse gas emission trends, projections, policies and measures), and on climate change impacts and adaptation actions in Europe. The EEA provides information and publications such as Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2012, Impacts of Europe’s changing climate – 2008 indicator-based assessment, Impacts of Europe’s changing climate 2004. Further, there is a section on sharing European environmental datasets, maps, charts and applications.

UNEP Climate Change Adaptation

UNEP helps developing countries to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. UNEP builds and strengthens national institutional capacities for vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning, and supports national efforts to integrate climate change adaptation measures into development planning and ecosystem management practices. It provides sections on Science and Tools and focuses on the following topics: Science and Assessments, Knowledge and Policy, Ecosystem-Based Adaptation, Economics and Finance, Access to Adaptation Finance.

Network of articles about climate change

October 3rd, 2012

In a previous post, we have explained how we collected a list of about 1000 articles related to climate change, and presented several measures of the associated discussions. Here we want to study the network of hyperlinks between these articles.

More specifically, we build a graph in which each article is a node, and a directed edge connects node A to node B if the corresponding articles are linked, i.e. if article A contains a link to article B.

As in Wikipedia each article represents an encyclopedic entry, and thus an entity, each link can be interpreted as evidence of a relationship between the entities which are the subjects of the articles. Following this idea, for example, the network of hyperlinks betweeen biographies in Wikipedia can be interpreted as a network between notable persons and historical characters, as shown in Aragón et al. (2012).

In the present case, each article represents an issue, an event or an actor related to climate change, and the network can reveal how these entities are related to each other according to the Wikipedia community.

Hyperlink network

Network of hyperlinks between Wikipedia articles related to climate change

In this figure, drawn with Gephi, the size of each node depends on its pagerank. Colours have been assigned to nodes and arcs according to a clustering algorithm (modularity maximization), so it is possible to get an idea of the main groups (clusters), in which articles are strongly interconnected. To better visualize the network, you can download the pdf version (searchable).

On the bottom-left of the figure we observe a purple cluster which includes articles Global warming and Climate change and is mostly focused on the scientific debate on climate change, and the associated controversies and actors (e.g: Global warming controversy, An inconvenient truth, List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming, Al Gore). This cluster has no clear boundaries and is strongly interlinked to a turquoise one on the bottom, focused on global models for climate, and centered around the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

If we keep moving towards the right, we can see a cyan cluster grouping articles associated with climatology and the effects of global warming, such as Ice Age, See level rise or Greenhouse effect, and a dark blue one mostly related to Climate change mitigation and Geoengineering.

On the top we can distinguish two clusters related to energy and climate change: a red cluster on the right, centered on Greenhouse gas, Fossil fuel and Renewable energy, and a green cluster on the left, associated to the Kyoto protocol and policies for emission reduction.

Close to this we find the last cluster (mustard, on the left),  grouping articles related to international treaties and conferences on climate change (the most relevant one appears to be the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and more in general Individual and political action on climate change, including some relevant actors such as the World Bank and Greenpeace.

Beyond showing how articles can be grouped into different clusters, the figure also reveals which articles are more relevant in this network, according to the pagerank. In order to investigate further which are the most relevant nodes in the network, we will apply and compare several centrality metrics in the next post.

 

Reference

Aragón, P., Kaltenbrunner A., Laniado D., and Volkovich Y. (2011).
Biographical Social Networks on Wikipedia – A cross-cultural study of links that made history
,
WikiSym ’12 – 8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration.

 

Ageing Places Visualization Workshop

September 28th, 2012

During the past months we have worked extensively on “Ageing Places: Digital Methodologies for Mapping the Issue of an Ageing Europe”.  We have advanced a series of eleven mapping subprojects that share as a point of departure the ageing of the European population and the debate around the potential consequences of this coming demographic imbalance. We have been mapping this scenario from three different perspectives: ageing as a social controversy,  ageing as a risk and ageing as a placemaking issue. In order to produce these mappings we combined digital methods with strategies for debate and issue mapping. So far some our subprojects include cross-cultural comparisons of the issues associated with ageing, mappings of age-motivated migrations across Europe and, amongst others, the documentation of the evolution of specific issues over a given period of time (issue timelines).

Currently, we are concentrating our efforts to compile the case studies, our research questions and methodologies into a publication. Ultimately, our goal is to produce a practical companion book for issue professionals and students.  As a continuation to this ongoing process from the 24 to the 28th of September we held a visualization workshop. Throughout the week we shared our data and narratives with four designers from the Politecnico Milano, who we  invited to  collaborate with us, dig into the data and  visualize it. They are helping us to think about strategies that will allow us to better communicate graphically both our methodologies and results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To prepare for the workshop we compile a 45 page long design brief (Ageing_WorkDesign.pptx.) In this document we included the preliminary visualizations, the documentation of how we gathered the data and descriptions of the findings it has lead to. Additionally, the first day of the workshop was dedicated entirely to familiarize the designers with the sub-projects and with the story-lines and methodologies of Ageing Places.

Workshop designers are Alessandro Dondero, Giacomo Tradi, Alex Piacentini and Stefania Guerra. The workshop is coordinated by Marieke van Dijk and Natalia Sanchez Querubin from the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam)  and Aleksandra Kil from the University of Wroclaw.

Feedback from weADAPT

September 26th, 2012

As you remember, during our last meeting in London, we met Sukaina Bharwani and Ben Smith from the amazing weADAPT.org project. In London and after that we identified with them a number of maps that could potentially be interesting for their community and during the summer, Milano designed a wonderful wireframe sketching what this maps may look like (thank you Michele):

wireframe-EMAPS-weADAPT

We sent this wireframe to our friend at weADAPT and here is their feedback:

<<

  • 1) We were not sure about the value of visualising co-authoring just yet as weADAPT is quite young and this is probably not so prevalent yet.
  • 2) This is a good question because it shows focus, and also which initiatives maybe need strengthening.
  • 3+4) We thought that these were really interesting and we especially liked the temporal aspect of Q4.
  • 5) We liked this one the most from a weADAPT/research perspective especially as it’s also easy for users to understand. Here, we could potentially also view tags by initiative and members, as well as organisation?
  • 6) This one would not be as interesting for us as the others but would be ok.
  • 7) This could be more interesting as it could show contentious areas quite well.
  • 8+9) These are both valuable illustrations and again easy to understand.
  • 10) This is also very interesting from a climate adaptation research perspective if we choose pertinent things to monitor over time. We can ask other staff at SEI also working on adaptation to come up with possible questions to model also.
    In summary, we think that for weADAPT 2, 3,4, and 5 are the most interesting, and 8, 9 and 10 in the wider debate. Users would probably be very interested in question 10, and to see who’s doing what (hot topics/most used tags) would be really useful to (both within and outside weADAPT).

>>

On the basis of this feedback, I am now discussing with them to obtain the data we need to build these maps.
I’ll keep you posted as soon as I have more information on this.