Counter-Mapping Covid Data

Counter-Mapping Covid: grassroots visualizations of data on the margins


This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant file #430-2021-00835.

Grassroots activists have tapped into the benefits of digitally facilitated mapping, attempting to mitigate biases and data gaps reproduced in official COVID-19 maps. Data maps by grassroots activists can reframe narratives of pandemic impacts on specific overlooked groups (Kent, 2020).

The key objectives of this project are to trace data imaginaries of COVID-19 counter-data mapping projects from conception by communities, through production, to reception in communities of social media users.

We are partnering with community groups in participatory research to understand their websites, mapping practices and processes, and social media engagements with respect to data map imaginaries. How do they imagine the power the map has to unveil and empower their communities?

We hope this project will positively impact the lives of marginalized communities through research participation and the development of participatory interactive counter-data mapping practices, improving community data discourses, imaginaries and futures.


Sandra Jeppesen
Principal investigator

Professor in Media, Film, and Communications (Lakehead University Orillia, Canada)

Emiliano Treré

Senior Lecturer in Media Ecologies and Social Transformation, School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC – Cardiff University, UK)

Michael Hoechsmann

Associate Professor, Education Programs (Lakehead University Orillia, Canada)

Miranda McKee
Research Assistant

MA student, Social Justice Education (Lakehead University Orillia, Canada)

Paola Sartoretto

Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communication (Jönköping University, Sweden)

Meghan Murray
Research Assistant

HBASc student, Media, Film, and Communications (Lakehead University Orillia, Canada)