I'll preface this post by saying I've asked drpepper for approval for this thread and he has said it's alright for me to post this here. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I've just registered for this forum, and have only ever visited it a couple of times. I'm not a mapper, though I've played TF2 for around 200 hours. I'm doing a research project on TF2. I'm a graduate student at the University of Toronto, working towards a Master of Information degree. I'm in a course that studies the information experience in context, and our term project is to conduct an ethnography of an information space. Essentially this involves going into a space and looking at the ways in which information is presented by the space and used by the people in that space. Most of these ethnographies are done in physical environments, but there have been studies of virtual spaces done as well, and this is what I'm doing, using TF2. Most ethnographic studies of video games or other virtual spaces (like Second Life) have focused on MMOs and persistent worlds; TF2 is much more transient in terms of player identity and server population, but I'm interested in looking at the maps themselves as information spaces that persist over time, even when the player population changes. As part of this project, I'm hoping to interview some mappers about the information they use when creating maps, and also about the way they structure maps to convey information to players. I know it seems like I'm joining just to ask for help with my homework, which is basically true, but the project requires that we talk to people who are part of a community in their natural setting, and this is about as natural as it gets for TF2 mappers. Basically, I just want you guys to talk about your maps. Ideally I'd love it if someone would show me a map that is in progress or finished, either through screenshots or by firing up a private server to give me a tour. But an email/IM/IRC interview would be fantastic as well. These interviews won't take long, though you can go as in-depth as you want. If anyone wants more details or wants to help out, PM me or post here with contact info. I think I could learn a lot from the people here, and I hope that some of you are willing to share some information. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.