Community Engagement for Social Inclusion


Perception Mapping

Beneficiary / Participants

Suitable for all ages, abilities, backgrounds. Individuals for rapid appraisal or groups up to 20 people for more in depth workshop.


General perception mapping is a type of participatory mapping (collective mapping of ideas, experiences and/or views). Can be used to agree a Common Goal, Develop an Action Plan, Set a virtual space.

Description of the method

Perception maps tell a story about an area, provides a way to enable individuals to express their views and aspirations and perhaps to identify what is important to different cultural groups within a community. The activity can be carried out during workshops, focus groups, rapid appraisals (getting opinions from passers-by in a public space) or other events, both individually and in groups. It involves recording qualitative local knowledge that is not specifically about physical features in the area but aspects such as local history, memories, or feelings about spaces/places. Perception mapping categorises observations and comments in personal Story Maps which can then be grouped together with themes like “We wish”, “We like”, “We don’t like”, “Memories”,“Environment”, “Questions”, and “Landmarks”.

How to

The activity starts with an introduction of the study/project, the specific context, and the objectives of the activity (exploration of social dynamics, identification of barriers to movement, planning spaces/facilities for target group of disadvantaged adults, etc.). Following this, participants’ views can be collected together on a big map or individually using smaller ones, depending on the group dynamics. The participants themselves can add the information to the map or they can be supported by the facilitator. The observations are then categorised and collated in order to be shared with a wider community, either digitised and made available online or offline using the community hub to display the map. The map can remain open for further contribution or closed, depending on the overall objectives. The collection of views/perceptions can then be used for further action planning or to initiate dialogue with other stakeholders.


2 hour workshops + extra time for feedback and further input.