A Contemporary Guide to Cultural Mapping

An ASEAN-Australia Perspective
Authors: AusHeritage Members Ian Cook and Ken Taylor

The cultural mapping process may focus on the past, the present and also the future. Cultural mapping can be used to monitor change in material culture as well as intangible cultural heritage. A cultural map may be created as an end in itself or provide an input into other endeavours.

Many methods and technologies are used to create cultural maps; some are simple and ephemeral such as drawing in the sand. Others use the latest technologies to locate cultural phenomenon spatially using geographic information systems. Whatever methods are used to map culture or cultural products, the map most often takes a physical form (a list, matrix, chart, diagram, design, website, sound recording, video, drawing, painting, textile, sculpture or model) where information is gathered, arranged and presented physically or virtually. In this context the authors use the term map as a mental model and mapping as mental model making as they explore the body of knowledge associated with this expanding field.

The Guide is available free of charge due to the generous support of The Australian National University, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The National Museum of Australia and The ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta. It is now available online through the following link. The file is large and may take a few minutes to complete the downloading process:


Artlab Australia is co-managing the distribution of hard copies of the Guide. There is a limited print run so if you want a copy we recommend that you place an order immediately. A payment is required to cover the costs of packaging and postage. Postal charges vary enormously depending on destination. To order, please email: artlab@dps.sa.gov.au

For general information about the Guide please contact the authors:

Ian Cook: ianlcook@bigpond.net.au
Ken Taylor: k.taylor@anu.edu.au

AusHeritage is a network of Australian cultural heritage management organisations, established by the Australian Government in 1996. The network aims to facilitate the engagement of practitioners and organisations for the Australian heritage industry in the overseas arena.

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