Innovation That Matters

Eco maps go mobile and open source

Publishing & Media

Since moving its not-for-profit venture online in 1995, New York-based Green Map System has made online maps of sustainable initiatives accessible to keen greens everywhere. Its selection of hand-picked mapmakers in 50 countries are responsible for the site’s 450+ maps, facilitating global sustainability from a grassroots level. Ethical stores, green spaces and recycling sites are just some of the sites the maps help people discover. The project’s impact will hit a whole new level with the introduction of Open Green Map: a community site that makes the project accessible to all, letting users add new locations as well as exploring the recommendations of others. Participants can bring entries to life with Flickr photos or YouTube videos to support their text descriptions. The site has also boosted its usefulness with the development of applications for mobile devices. Users can now upload content the moment they discover it, and log in to find the nearest fair-trade coffee shop or ethical fashion store whilst out and about. Combining the expansion of the mobile internet and the desire to live green, Open Green Maps uses technology to connect communities in the real world. As well as making it much easier for users to track down world-changing initiatives in their own neighbourhoods, the site might help foreign ecopreneurs discover new ideas to introduce to their home markets. As the tagline goes, ‘Think global, map local’. (Related: The big city guide to going green.) Spotted by: Emma Crameri



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