Sketch-Mapping a data protocol for Salvaged Tech Devices

Hi Monday. Here’s a really quick, rough sketch-map I drew out a few weeks back, trying to think through how tech devices get salvaged and re-purposed:

Sketched flow map of how technology devices might get processed

Who knows, the idea – to put together a data standard to capture device provenance in a federated network – might go somewhere, one day. I had a good chat with the TechResort crew and reckon a simple chat room / mailing list to get people talking initially might be a fine first step. But it always helps me to work out the relationships in a system, and a quick doodle is often the fastest way to put something concrete down.

There are a few things this doodle helped bring out, for instance:

  1. "Demand/Need" on the right is after the centre fold of my notebook, which probably indicates it was an afterthought for me. The supply/fix process took up all the initial space, which likely reflects my own bias as a ‘fixer’. It was good chatting to the TechResort lot, as their focus is a lot more towards the Needs side of things, and which has a whole bunch of different aspects to it which aren’t gretaly captured in my map/thoughts.

  2. "Storage" got taken out into a separate line of its own, which reflects the expansion of the idea to accomodate the importance of physical locations – knowing where something is (or will be) is as essential as knowing what’s been done to it.

  3. Similarly, I’ve ended up attaching a little person icon (the circle with a triangle underneath) to each step, and to each location, and well just everywere really. That identification of "owner" starts to get important once you talk about federated networks, I think, as trust of individuals comes into the equation more and more. Having worked on a multi-year codebase, that sense of history embedded into source control gets really useful: "ohh, person X made this change, they amy have forgotten but I can prompt them – or they might have worked with person Y on it, so I’ll ask them."

On reflection, this is indeed a map for capturing organisational memory, more than a prescription of how to fix up technology. I don’t currently know if those two things are different – I think they are: ongoing processes require flexibility, speed, adaptability. Memories require feedback loops, data consistency/upgrades, etc.

Mapping: Jabu-Jabu’s Belly

I find myself mapping things out a lot these days, and thought it might be interesting/fun to share some of the sketches, along with vaguely relevant links.

Just to start with, here’s a map I put together last night of a dungeon in 2001’s Zelda: The Oracle of Ages on the Gameboy Colour. The dungeon is in the second half of the game, and is set in the belly of Jabu-Jabu, a giant fish god. It features rising and falling water levels with some convoluted paths to reach anywhere, and I muddled through it with the help of a walkthrough before nearing the end.

However, I didn’t want to leave without really understanding the paths I’d taken, and how all the routes criss-crossed. And while the in-game map shows rough layout, it doesn’t help much with seeing which room exits are reachable from others, or where different up/down links go. Sometimes a custom map is necessary to reflect your own thinking about a place – not how it fits in 2D space, but (more importantly, to me) how the possible ways through weave together.

A hand-drawn map of the Jabu-Jabu Belly dungeon

TBH, I wish I’d started mapping it out when I first entered. Lesson learned for next time.

Archived: Map