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  • Writer's pictureGijs Spoor

Meta Mapping: Bridging Divides and Connecting Communities

Ever since we started using maps to chart the Green Silk Road I realise how limiting many map based intercontinental and intersectional collaborations are. Many network conveners / weavers want to enable members to find and interact with each other. But we often end up making yet another map, disconnected from allied movements (eg: education / food / peace / energy / housing / etc / etc), whereas geo-coded data has the potential to bridge such divides and help users integrate multiple sectors / themes in place. I wondered, can we do better?

As you might expect the answer is YES ! I started a Telegram group called Meta-mapping to find those involved in interoperability between (civil society) maps and the most responsive platform that surfaced was Murmurations. Since then I got help from a data professional via Tech to the Rescue and started testing the process of uploading existing map data to the Murmurations protocol and am convinced this will benefit us all.

The advantages of multiple civil society networks across continents and sectors using a shared reference for their geographic data, such as the Murmurations Protocol, are numerous. Here is a top 10 list:

1. Enhanced Discoverability and Connectivity:

Organisations can more easily discover and connect with like-minded initiatives across the globe. Improved visibility of projects and resources fosters greater collaboration and partnership opportunities.

2. Interoperability and Data Integration:

A shared reference standard allows diverse systems and platforms to communicate and exchange data seamlessly. This interoperability reduces data silos and ensures that information is more accessible and useful to a wider audience.

3. Efficient Resource Utilisation:

Organisations can identify and share resources, avoiding duplication. Collaborative efforts can leverage shared resources to achieve greater impact and sustainability.

4. Improved Strategic Planning:

Access to comprehensive and up-to-date geographic data helps organisations better understand the landscape of initiatives and activities in their region or sector. This information supports more informed decision-making and strategic planning.

5. Strengthened Advocacy and Impact:

Unified geographic data can provide a powerful tool for advocacy, helping to highlight areas of need and demonstrate collective impact and inform coordinated campaigns.

6. Dynamic and Customizable Mapping:

Organisations can create dynamic maps that visualise connections and relationships within and across networks. These maps can be customised and embedded in websites, enhancing transparency and engagement with stakeholders.

7. Enhanced Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

A shared reference for geographic data facilitates the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and success stories. Organisations can learn from each other’s experiences and adapt successful strategies to their own contexts.

8. Resilience and Decentralization:

Decentralised data protocols reduce reliance on central authorities or databases, enhancing the resilience and robustness of civil society networks. This ensures that data remains open, accessible, and under the control of the organisations that generate it.

9. Community Building and Solidarity:

Shared data standards help build a sense of community and solidarity among diverse organisations working towards common goals. Collaborative networks can foster mutual support, trust, and collective action.

10. Scalability and Growth:

A shared geographic data protocol provides a scalable framework that can grow with the network. New organisations and sectors can easily join and contribute to the shared data ecosystem, expanding the reach and impact of the network.

To join the Telegram group go here:

Vikalp sangam stories of change:





Global Tapestry of Alternatives :

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