Asset Mapping / Community Mapping​

Asset Mapping / Community Mapping visualizes selected socio-spatial aspects (e.g. resources, safe places) of an area by collecting pins on a printed, digital or self-created map, one color per criterium.

Level of participation


Duration of participation process

Preparation: One month for invitation of the participants etc.
Implementation: ½ – 1 day
Follow-up: 1-2 days for analysis and documentation

Target group size

<15 people​
15-30 people​
30-100 people



Resources for a short workshop

Human resources needed

At least one person for preparation, moderation and documentation

The method: what is it, when to use it and what outcome to expect

Asset/Community Mapping assesses an area towards a certain aspect by its residents. Often, it is a follow-up to a Transect Walk that the community did prior. Either printed or interactive digital maps are used or own maps created.

Asset/Community Mapping can be useful e.g. to detect safe and unsafe areas (in general, for women, etc.), natural resources and their condition, mobility behavior or public service needs of the community, or to assess needs for an ideal future of their area.

Asset/Community Mapping results in a clear, detailed visualization of specific local information, issues and opportunities, strengthens the communal spirit and informs public officials precisely about (the locality of) issues.

The process: how to conduct it in an in-person setting or online using a PC/laptop with video option

This method follows three steps and has three options:

  1. Preparation: Decide if a Transect Walk shall be conducted before and which map touse (own, printed or digital). Decide whom to invite and on a venue/digital meeting space. Organize a facilitator and equipment (e.g. markers, pins, big map print out or big size paper for own maps to place on the floor (e.g. 4 flip charts taped together, digital tools). Invite and provide participant access information to the event.
  2. Conduction: The facilitator introduces the objective, task and criteria (if needed) and guides participants on the collection and mapping of issues, using:
  • Own Map: Participants draw landmarks and important infrastructure on the blank paper (e.g. rivers, forests, water sources, big roads, bridges, bus/train lines/stops, schools, factories) until map is complete and then discuss and mark the subject of mapping into the map.
  • Printed/Digital Map: Participants discuss and mark the subject of mapping into the map. For digital mapping, consider using layers and creating lists e.g. in Google maps.
  1. Conclusion: The facilitator summarizes achievements and outcome. Organizers thank the participants for their contribution and share how the result will be utilized.


Blended participation

Not recommended during the mapping process; decision for in-person or digital approach should be taken beforehand. 

Option to digitalize the results to inform more people or to collect further information. 

Digital communication

  • Useful to reach and activate potential participants and to inform the broader audience about the results as well as follow-up action. 

Good to know

  • Consider:
    • Good reachability of the venue and choosing a public one (e.g. local townhall or park)
    • Diversity in and representation of participants in accordance to the subject of mapping
    • Using the Traffic Light method for labelling ​
    • The map to be less important than the discussions taking place and document them
  • Ensure equally distributed contributions and avoid monologues and one-sided dominance
  • Read further:​​​​

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