2013 Mapping

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One thing in the beginning: THIS IS NOT THE MAPS GROUP!!!

What is mapping?

In the sense meant here, the word "mapping" is used to describe

  • the intention to express something making or using a map (as opposed to a text, a video, an animation, an abstract picture or a theater play, etc.)
  • the working process necessary to gather all the information that should be mapped
  • the design process about how the map could look like
  • the actual production of the map (hand sketch, graphic design, computer programming, printing, uploading, etc.)

Why mapping? What kind of mapping?

Maps are a very strong medium: They can express simple or complicated things without using (much) text. Sometimes, maps have been used to manipulate. Sometimes, they have NOT been used at all - wherefore people got manipulated as well (through non-information or different information through a different medium - e.g. text). Maps have for a long time been a centralised and monopolised business and power tool: The one entity/company/government who prints a (mass) map, has the power to tell people about the space they live in. Some things are highlited on maps, while some remain hidden by not being printed or labled. The critical collective carthography movement started changing that: One of the basic ideas is that "the people" (and not one entity/person/company) map what they think is important in their space, using many brains, many voices and many symbols and materials. Thus, two main differences are: Many persons' perceptions are part of the map and other important things appear on maps. The technology of digital online maps has just started to take the possibilities of ccc to a new level: "Peoples' maps" can be combined with "standard maps" easily, people can MAKE standard maps (e.g. openstreetmap project), different things can be added, combined or faded out with one click and finally: all that can be shared globally.

Mapping on Ecotopia Biketour 2013

Last year, the main documentation of EBT was through our blog, photos and film footage taken (but unfortunately not processed yet, because it is very time consuming) and some pictures painted. This year, we would like to spread the idea about mapping as further technique of expressing experiences and information. Mapping fits especially well to this year's tour, because the annual theme is "borders". And borders are to a big extent "created" on maps (just take a look into your atlas and look at borders in north america or africa, which have literally been drawn on a map...). As a project that highly values the commons, EBT could make an effort to contribute to data commons - e.g. by carthographing missing details for open street map in the (border) regions we visit. Maps can be geographical or thematical and schematical: Since EBT is dealing with many different topics at one, it can be interesting to digest experiences on different maps.

Map ideas

  • Route: A detailed map of the route we took.
    • Option: Comparison through another colour line: The route that was planned ;)
    • Option: Erasing and/or changing borders (e.g. seeing only language, economic, topographical, currency or weather borders, etc.)
    • Option: Multilingual
    • Option: Food map: Adding the points we bought / found food at
  • Bike map: Adding our experiences with the bikeability to online bike map portals
  • Water: Gather drinking water spots and add them to the open street map
  • Extinguished villages: We will visit villages of former populations, which have been extinguished because their residents were expulsed. If contemporary maps only show "forest", we could map the ruins in detail and thereby reveal some historical facts that are not represented on maps anymore.
  • Story: Link (all) our blog stories to precise points on our route map
  • Thematical-Schematical "Metro" Map: Use the "Metro" scheme to connect the project visited by us with coloured lines. Each coloured line represents a topic (e.g. green for agriculture, pink for minorities, etc.). Where multiple lines cross a project, it is involved in all these activities.
  • Where we come from (to join EBT)
  • ...

Data sensitivity

Keep in mind that every information has its value, its risks and can concern or harm people. Just like with taking photos, mapping certain information should be considered well. All persons and groups that information is displayed about, should always be asked!

Group Work


workshops for understanding

prepare workshops for spreading technical skills