🌐 Map for global degrowth day

In continuation of Question regading a website on degrowth.info emerged a side-channel conversation about a map for the global degrowth day. From that we conclude some requirements here.

  • The map needs to visible to everyone, even to non-members of our forum (agora)
  • Set landmark for an activity
  • Display functionality of additional information
  • We (A&A, Jean) need to be able to change / create / delete things manually on this map
  • Furthermore we use a contact form (see https://www.degrowth.info/en/globalday/participate/) which includes 8 input fields (only 6 are relevant for the map). This information should be displayed on the map.
  • We prefer, if we can directly integrate the map on our page, i.e. on https://www.degrowth.info/en/globalday/events/ , not via a link only.
  • If you have a lot of events, we can consider to automatize it

These are direct transcripts of users’ stories, from which we can conclude conditions against which an implementation needs to be tested:

[*] The map is publicly accessible, without login.
[*] The entries come with location and date metadata.
The survey method allows to collect structured data.
[*] Additional, semi-structured information can be provided and is visible alongside.
[*] A group of moderators is able to curate the map.
It is possible to contact the curators.
The map is embeddable into other pages.
[*] There is an API to interact with the mapped data.

Let’s see how well the Agora fits in here, and which development directions become visible at first sight.

The map that shows only events for the global degrowth day is accessible at Global Degrowth Day 2019 - Degrowth

Other interesting maps are:

Right now we are using the standard Nominatim geocoder. This may result in locations of poor quality. We can probably switch to free, commercial ones, or check how we can place location markers manually.

It is not possible to produce a tightly planned, structured survey here. This is also not the aim. It is more important to create direct user interactions, than to take the effort to design a taxonomy or question the realities against predesigned forms. Since we can theoretically produce maps from every category here, their order is our taxonomy. Additionally, tags can be provided to qualify places.

Where we don’t want to enforce too much structure on our users, we provide clear guidance on what we expect them to provide, and how. For each category that acts as a collection of events or locations, we can add topic templates.

Those should contain an open text that invites users to be filled liberally, upload their pictures to and provide guidance to tasks alike.

@jean is already a moderator of the site, which gives him increased priviledge. @Anne_Arndt_Jacobi Would you also like to share this responsibility?

Alternatively, we can also define participatory categories as wiki, in which everyone can change everything. Revisions are kept for accountability reasons.

We can always define new groups like those in Degrowth that help us create more fine-grained permission schemes, and also provides contact points for questions in this direction.

Here it gets tricky! We already get our map entries as structured data, but cannot link to a full screen view of it. Also its usability is very limited not only for display, but also for interaction.

We are investigating ways to reuse the data from the Agora, and present it in nicer, more accessible ways on a separate page that can also be embedded.

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Thanks @yala for consolidating this here!

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Not that there is A JSON representation of the map that might be useful towards

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I’m able to access the map in private mode (ie not logged in), but then i cannot add an event.

Is this good or bad? I can imagine we rather want to know who is contributing data, also in terms of the GDPR and a privacy policy and explicit consent to publish the data as pubilc domain.

I can also imagine scenarios in which we would like to allow anonymous contributions. How about you?

Yes, we want that everybody can participate on the global degrowth day - not only members of the community. If we decide, the event organizers have to maintain the events themselves in the map, then we don’t want to force them to register first.

I find this contradictory. If you want people to maintain their own events on the map, then they should definitely have an account for doing it. Otherwise how do you determine ownership of an event?

Of course we could alternatively have a wiki-like map where any anonymous user could edit any point. But what problem is this solving? Why is it a problem for a person organizing an event to register on an open platform on degrowth?

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we were not decided to go that way. Our goal is to make all events visible. If it is a map within agora is only one way you suggested to solve this!
We want to make it as easy as possible to register an event. We already know a few people who don’t like to register on forums. And only for making an event public, I think it is not acceptable to force them to do so.

There is nothing impeding to have an anonymous submission of events. There is already the form to submit, which requires then someone to do it manually on some map. Or we can have an email address where anyone can send an event to, that will appear on the events automatically (but probably not directly on the map, for this some moderator would need to go through to add it).

We can also just use a public umap to allow anyone to add points without restrictions. I am however concerned that this not help in simplifying the process.

Thanks for the infos.

totally fine for make Anne and Arndt also administrator!
Ciao Jean

Hi @Anne_Arndt_Jacobi and @jean,

can we conclude here that there is a separate discussion happening around how we do mappings of degrowth, either them being mere locations, or also events, taking place here?

For me it is important to collect your use specifications and transform them into workable technical requirements. Some are directly transferable, others need to be rescoped and be put into context. We know that it is nice and easy to think of the features that we want, but we must also take into account the available resources and the available expertise. Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything.

If you can propose a free and libre open source software mapping environment that meets your requirements, we are happy to deploy it immediately. Until then we need to improvise one step after the other, and do not want to be blocked, if initially requirements were estimated too high.

Which benefits would you see in allowing anonymous contributions and editing, and how much of our collective effort seems reasonable to achieve this?

Jean, what do you want to make Anne and Arndt an administrator of? I did not perfectly get the context.

I was proposing to give them the same rights that I have on Agora and clouds to help when I could not been able to work. Concerning the map I propose to Ann and arndt to have a phone call on whatsapp and talk a bit. Then maybe we could have a call together with jon if there are some doubts.
Tomorrow mornning I am available.


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I’ll try to summarize:
first idea was to have an automatism which puts our form data on a map automatically. From the above I conclude that this is not so easy - correct me if I misinterpret the above statements.
Currently planned solution is: people fill out the form->an email is sent containing all relevant data in a structured format - we (eg Arndt and I and whoever else has time and energy and access to the email account )- manually put it on the umap we are using and displaying on the website. I think this is a workable solution for now. We can additionally display the event information in a structured way on the website - should hopefully not be too much work, we can do a little prototype in the next days. In addition to this we can think about automatically creating events in the forum. But we have to keep in mind that they will be kind of “subevents” of the event “global degrowth day”, and there may be quite a lot of them (hopefully!), so I’m not sure if it is really useful to have them all in the forum - they should at least be grouped by country or similar, otherwise it will be very confusing. On the website we can (probably) do this more easily.
@Jean: we don’t have a smartphone and don’t use whatsapp - but we can of course talk on our “normal” phone :wink: But maybe it makes more sense to discuss this once we have the prototype of the event list we could show you? But if you want to talk tomorrow, that’s also fine. Our no is xxx. What time would be good for you?

That sounds good.

I will follow up about the rest later.

I confirm concerning the semi-automatism that it does not work now.
I understand your plan. However why let’s people directly fill the map creating their own events? They have just to log in and fil…very easy as filling a form and for us is no work! cliking on this link: https://agora.degrowth.net/c/events/global-degrowth-day-2019/l/map

That your time and when ready you can call me: …

See you!


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I totally support this workflow. I don’t see how it is more complex than anonymous publishing on umap (which has a much more complex interface). And we motivate people to join our network by themselves, helping to build up our networking capacity, which is a very important long-term positive effect.

@gandhiano, @yala, @jean: we produced a document https://cloud.degrowth.net/s/EHP3TTpnY6Btq65, where we tried to summarize our specification for this topic. We also made a little analysis of different approaches.
This is not a final document. So maybe there are more or other requirements, not listed here now.
Feel free to enhance and comment it.

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Many thanks for the work. What do you prefer?
Personally maybe the mixed approach but not collecting data in the 2 side. Just the automatic map with the possiiblity of some of you to correct things and maybe by email to speak and help people that do not arrive t post the event or that have to change location.

Than I would do the list of events manually. Lazy people will not organize events. I would not care for them but I would care of error/crazy people that need help :wink:

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