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Department of Spatial Planning
Research project

EMAPS - Electronic Maps to Assist Public Science

Project duration: 11/2011 to 10/2014

After a three-year term the project EMAPS (Electronic Maps to Assist Public Science) ended in October 2014. The research project was promoted under the 7th EU Research Framework Program in the work program "SiS.2011.3.0.6-1 Science Society interaction in the digital era technologies ". The aim of the project was to identify, analyze and visualize scientific and public discourses on an ageing society and climate change adaption (“controversy mapping“).

The theme of the "Ageing Society" was used in the first year of the project as a pilot phase in order to draw methodological and procedural conclusions for the second phase of the project. The Institute of Spatial Planning (IRPUD) was mainly involved in work package 3, which focused on the collection and analysis of the discourse on adaptation to climate change in science and media. In addition, the IRPUD had the role of an "Issue Expert" on climate change and spatial development in the project.

Identifying discourses on "Adapting to climate change" in the second phase of the project referred to various databases such as online databases for climate adaptation projects, literature or science databases, protocols of UN climate talks, articles and postings in online media  etc. With selected analysis and visualization software, the data concerning different players and positions of the appearance and disappearance of certain themes over time, the common occurrence of certain topics, etc. could be analyzed and visualized.

The core of the methodological work built four so-called "Sprint Workshops" on "International Negotiations on Climate Change Adaptation", "Coping With Vulnerability To Climate Change", "Climate Change Adaptation Projects" and "Designing The Platform". In these one-week workshops the scientists of the project partners and external experts came together to define topics, prepare data and content to get initial feedback and finally to revise the results. Each workshop ended in a final presentation. The results of the project EMAPS and the online platform "Climaps by EMAPS" ( were presented at a final event on 16th October 2014 in Brussels.

Project partners:

  • Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, France (co-ordinator)
  • University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Institute of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, Germany
  • Barcelona Media, Spain
  • Politecnico di Milano, DensityDesign, Italy
  • The Young Foundation, United Kingdom

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