Geo.Geo empowers communities to learn new mapping tools to engage and enthuse local residents to take more responsibility in managing their environment and formalising insight into a low carbon, sustainable future. We build local mapping capacity to help transform valuable local knowledge on specific issues (such as the local economy, flooding, heritage and transport) into geographic information. This cutting is empowering governments to come together with their communities to discuss what is most important to them and learn the latest mapping tools and technologies along the way. Our framework for community mapping can help to:
- engage communities on locally-important issues;
- motivate and train community members to use the latest open source mapping tools to record information on these issues;
- support cartographic output and visualisation that aids discussion and decision making;
- develop the right platforms and solutions that make use of the data and link with large, national datasets.
Case Study I: Climate Resilience Mapping in perthshire
In early 2013, Geo.Geo worked in partnership with Sniffer and Adaptation Scotland to help a sustainability group from the Carse of Gowrie, a series of low-lying communities situated between Perth and Dundee in Scotland. Over just 6 workshops, Geo.Geo helped local residents to identify key issues affecting their local environment and learn the latest mapping tools to translate these into geographic data. The end result was a series comprehensive maps produced by community members reflecting local insight into a vast array of topics, from drainage systems, to historic orchards, local assets and tourism.
The videos below give the local residents' account of the community mapping experience, as well as some timelapse cartography highlighting the amazing efforts and energy of the mapping workshops.
Case Study II: crowdsourcing sustainable ideas from scotland's youth
Now in its fourth year, Geo.Geo designed and developed a crowd-sourcing competition map app for Scotland's Environment Web which utilised a stack of powerful open source tools to create a secure, cloud-based competition platform to enable young people to submit their ideas around our sustainable future. The site features an interactive atlas to interact, filter and explore submissions (after the competition ends, if you're a viewing member of the public of course) and an easy-to-use form to submit entries and include images and videos. The platform also provides a special Judge's Panel view for YoungScot volunteers to register and cast their votes on their peer's submissions so that the prizes can be decided (and yes, we added code to stop young people voting lots of times and trying to cheat!).
OurEnvironment.scot was one of the first .scot domains with its aim to empower young people from all over Scotland (from ages 5 to 17) to have a voice in our transition towards a low carbon society. The competition will begin again towards the end of 2016, with a deadline expected early 2017...get yourself involved!
Case Study III: energy archipelago: the world's portal for community-owned renewable energy projects
As we move towards our transition to a low carbon economy and secure energy future, the contribution of community-owned projects is becoming increasingly vital for our overall energy mix. To help support further widespread adoption, Geo.Geo partnered with Scene Community, an organisation looking to strengthen community involvement in the energy sector.
EnergyArchipelago.com aims to house the world's community-owned renewable energy projects, empowering communities themselves to keep project records up to date whilst providing three powerful APIs to help analyse and disseminate their contributions to national and regional governments. The platform is another example of a robust, cloud-based solution developed using an open source stack infrastructure which currently encompasses all community-owned projects found in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Australia. With Mexico and UAS-based projects being integrated later this year, the platform aims to become this first truly global data portal for the community-owned renewable energy sector.