Mapping Controversies

This tutorial material consists of 21 modules of 15 to 45 minutes, for 2 full days in total. It covers some of the technical / practical aspects of controversy mapping with digital methods. As such, it is designed to complement teaching on the controversy mapping course.

Goal: learn how to harvest and explore data, formulate insights, and build relatable visualizations.

Data: we will mostly use Wikipedia data to keep things relatively simple, but the techniques generalize to other media platforms and datasets.

Tools: we will mostly use Tableau, Gephi, and Jupyter Notebooks. No experience required.


Each tutorial covers a part of this general process, from data harvesting (bottom) to building a controversy atlas (top). Once through all the tutorials, the routes on this map provide a set of options for completing the practical steps of a controversy mapping project.

Digital methods map


The schedule breaks down in 4 half-days. Each one focuses on a different topic, and requires 4 hours of work, breaks included.

The activities must be done in order, as they build on each other and ramp up in complexity. Each one comprises instructions and a set of practical tasks. Time is indicative.

Tableau software

Build annotated timelines with Tableau Software, 4 hours.


Build annotated network maps with Gephi, 4 hours.

Harvest relational data

Write visual protocols for relational data, 4 hours.

Harvest other data

Write visual protocols for other kinds of data, 4 hours.



CC BY-SA 4.0