The art project, now documented as a book, Mapping Manhattan: A Love (And Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps is an interesting exercise in insight finding.
The artist, Becky Cooper, was initially asked to document the locations of public art in the city as a paid project, and realized how we create our own internal maps of places. How each space is formed of our memories and our experiences. So she created some maps on a printing press, and asked people to fill them in.
These three samples from the Tumblr site are wonderful examples of how people responded in highly diverse ways. As a researcher, I can tell you that this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I see when I ask people to produce a projective exercise* of this kind, such as a collage or a mind-map, or a video, or a story.
You can see how much rich information is here to be mined, should one choose to do so.
One could easily argue that all great art is about innovation and insight, actually. If you are ever in need of inspiration, look at what contemporary artists are doing.
I learned about this work via BrainPickings, a somewhat unfortunate name for my new favorite e-mail newsletter.
*Projective technique: has it's origins in Freud and Rorsach. Great definition from my buddy Monica Zinchiak: an "ambiguous stimulus designed to evoke inner thoughts and emotions". The purpose is to start a different kind of conversation.