Many Mapping-Platforms have started since 2014. In the meantime, our map of tomorrow is the most used mapping platform in Germany, but there are many other platforms in other (European) countries. How do we cooperate in a solidarian world of tomorrow? Here I want to start a discussion about the advantages of each platform and what innovations and function might work the best.

Before we started in 2013 the Map of Tomorrow, we did a lot of research on other mapping projects worldwide and got a lot of solidarian support from existing Mapping-Organizations like Open Greenmaps and Bluepingu. At this time there was a huge mapping boom, and while in Germany we find a a concentration of some projects, in other European countries can be found lots of alternatives.

Cross-Thematic mapping plattforms

There are more than thousand maps for social-ecological transformation worldwide, but most of them have a regional or thematic focus like ecovillages, organic-shops, urban gardens and so on. We collected some of them here:

In this article we only focus on plattforms, which integrate all themes of social-ecological transformation

Map of Tomorrow

You all know this map. Some statistic from July 2019

Number of Entries7117
Number of Events262
Number of registered Users525
Number of Tags7224

Große Karte öffnen

Advantage: fast flexibility

  • Crowd-Sourced: Everybody can add and edit anything, even without having to log in
  • Hashtags: Organizations and movements can use the map for whatever they need and group their entries by hashtags
  • Made to share: Any map-view, entry and filter can be easily shared by URL and in iframes. (like in the Gloassar)

Disadvantage: little overview

  • No legend: Without clear categories and a legend, so users don’t know what to look for.
  • No Icons or categories -> hard to filter for general topics like “education”

Transiscope

Mainly used in French speaking countries of Europe

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This statstic is just an estimation

Number of Entries (with all connected sources)25.000
Number of Eventsnone
Number of registered Users?
Number of Tags/ categoriesca. 25

Advantage: Good categorized content

  • 8 clear categories show all content
  • Is connected to presdecheznous.fr an 10 other plattforms
  • Nice and professional surface

Disadvantage: Very slow loading

  • Very slow, probably because of the amount of content and connections.

Initiatives de Transition (Belgium)

Seems to be the same system like Transiscope

Große Karte öffnen

Number of Entries (with all connected sources)190
Number of Eventsnone
Number of registered Users?
Number of Tags/ categoriesca. 25

Advantage: Good categorized content

  • Same as Transiscope
  • You can add things without having to log in.

Disadvantage: Very slow loading

  • Same As Transicope
  • Very few entries

Open Greenmap

The system originally comes from New York but has spread around the world within the last 20 years. It is famous because of its set of icons, which we also use, when we print maps of tomorrow.

The platform is going to be republished this summer. Old maps you find here: https://www.new.greenmap.org/maps-projects/explore-green-maps

Advantage: Icons and experience

  • Startet in the 80s
  • Large Network

Disadvantage: Complex

  • Over 60 Icons is hard to remember and overwhelming for new users.
  • Entries are attached to certain maps, but only a fix team can edit the map.

Fazit: We need Interfaces

All the mapping platforms have their advantages and their target-group. But none of them is good for all. Prezdecheznous has the most content and the clearest categories, but does not help small networks to map themselves. Map of tomorrow makes it “Quick and dirty”, but lacks a clear overview.

Transition Connect is one of those approaches to connect them all, but has no funding. The Commons-API-Project is a similar approach.

Karte von morgen and wechange.eco try to build an interface on the Hackathon in Mink this summer. Apply Now!