Sunday, November 2, 2008

obesity system influence diagram
posted by Pantopicon

Within the ‘Foresight tackling obesities’ project, which we blogged about earlier, our friends over at Shiftn created an amazing map( depicting the forcefield surrounding obesity. Congrats Philippe & Co.!

The causal loop map provides systemic insight into the wide variety of factors influencing the obesity epidemic. A thorough analysis of about 40 science reviews led to the identification of 108 drivers of obesity, interrelated through positive and negative effects.

Reflecting on the potential of maps like these: a next step of increasing the interactivity of the map could further enhance its value as an information insight or what-if tool. For example, select a relationship arrow and see what the relationship stands for. Or furthermore … select a few drivers, confirm or alter the parameters of their cause-effect relationship, push the action button and see what happens. Or … describe an effect (wishful or to avoid) and see which buttons need to be triggered in order to change the outcome as mentioned. In other words: the map, as an information visualization tool, can be a first step toward a full-fledged knowledge tool.

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