Mapping: block diagrams

Learn how to make a block diagram to explore and visualize patterns in nature.

Creating a block diagram combines information from an overhead map (plan view) and a cross-section (side or elevation view). Try creating one of these views for your sit spot or one of your favorite areas to explore. Making the block diagram will help you think ecologically and spatially about the relationships between, slope (steepness), aspect or horizontal orientation (north vs. south-facing slopes), vegetation, and wildlife patterns. This is a more advanced exercise that is good to try once you are comfortable making simple overhead maps and cross-sections.

Click on the first image to enlarge the image and see a step by step slide show of how to construct a block diagram.

Be playful and have fun with it. I sometimes add a little icon of myself wandering in the space or looking over the edge. It is not an exact map but a tool to help you think three-dimensionally and perhaps see patterns in the landscape that you might not otherwise have noticed.