3W map of NGOs and services of Lesvos

Description: A service mapping answering the question “who does what and where?” on the island of Lesvos.
Company: Self-initiated
Job title: Graphic designer
Location: Lesvos island, Greece
Year: 06.07.18
SDGs: Target 16.10,


After few months on Lesvos, my curiosity to understand systems pushed me to create a mind mapping of all the NGOs on the island. This informal work became a vector of discussion. People were amazed to see it and often asked to take a picture for their work.

Mind mapping ngos Lesvos

What problem did I solve?

I met individuals and NGOs working on similar projects. Individuals were lacking expertise to develop a database. NGOs were lacking resources and time to update the information they promised. I quickly realised that nobody had an updated map but everybody wanted one.

Not having local updated information has consequences:
– NGOs cannot properly connect to each others.
– Volunteers are applying to NGOs where their skills are useless.
– Volunteers are giving outdated information to people in need.

To give three examples:
– An NGO doing Search & Rescue has questions about maritime law that a legal NGO can solve.
– A volunteer with carpentry’s skills applies to an NGO from home and realise his skills are useful somewhere else.
– Someone from the camp is advised to visit an NGO in town. After more than one hour walking, the NGO tells him they don’t provide the service.

Service mapping Lesvos

How did I solve it?

I did interviews and shared the mind mapping to crowdsource the information.
I asked people: “If you heard the name of that NGO before, put one colour. If you know someone inside this NGO, put another colour”. It was an interesting format which also helped me to understand how communities were forming on the island. I gained a deep understanding of how things work.

I mapped 113 services and decided to move on to the final layout.

The medium of the poster has been chosen because information is a full-time work where every new day is a day towards outdated information.
The map being a voluntary work with no financially sustainable perspective, the choice of this medium was a statement-through-work confirming that it would be a one time work with no updates in mind.

Personal goal
My main conviction was not the updates. I wanted to create a solid reference work for founders, coordinators and volunteers to get a bigger picture of the actors on Lesvos. Thus to improve collaboration and share more relevant information.
Now that this information is available and displayed in a one-sheet-poster, it is people’s job to connect with the NGOs and receive the last updated information they need. The original post tags all the NGOs’ Facebook pages to facilitate the work.

The map is CC BY-SA 3.0, which means is “Free cultural work” that can be shared and adapted.
I contacted all the “map makers” and sent them a list of updates to edit or add to their work.

Draft Lesvos map

What was the impact?

The main source of information for the NGOs on Lesvos is a Facebook group called “Information Point for Lesvos volunteers” where I’m also a regional advisor. It has a community of 20.000 people.
The publication of the map reached 6600 people within a week. 600 people downloaded the high quality pdf. It became the most seen post of this group since its creation in 2015.
Out of the 44 comments, only 4 comments were asking for editing.

The map helped me on my work to get better recognition and build stronger partnerships. The turnover of NGOs isn’t too frequent so I still have people quoting the work as a useful tool.

Find the link to the original post:

Facebook post

Download the PDF