Green Map System

Engaging communities worldwide to chart a sustainable future - for all of us! We empower a diverse perspective-changing movement mapping local natural, social and cultural resources in 875 diverse cities, villages and neighborhoods in over 65 countries. Developing local sustainability networks since 1995, Green Map System expands the demand for healthy, green choices with our adaptable, experiential and interactive mapmaking resources and universal icons, multilingual websites, workshops and regional hubs.
Sep 20, 2010

700 Green Map Projects - a New Milestone!

Summer Interns, Staff  and Mapmakers take a break!
Summer Interns, Staff and Mapmakers take a break!

We have reached a new milestone: Over 700 Green Map projects have registered at GreenMap.org/join! We are excited about being part of the green scene in communities from Jersey City NJ to Lake Tisza Hungary to Stellenbosch South Africa!

Each project uses our tools and models in their own way. Our job at Green Map System is to anticipate needs, respond to assessments and continually improve our websites and other mapmaking resources. Our new navigation feature - drop menus - is one outward manifestation of our summer’s work in the digital realm. As you explore Open Green Map’s 13,000 sites, you’ll notice that the interface is now available in a seventh language, Chinese. Explore some of the platform's 140 maps and you’ll find many have hundreds of sites!

Knowledge of local resources is critical to each individual and community, and maintaining the Open Green Map platform and expanding its reach are ongoing efforts. Your donations to us through Global Giving make all the difference. Your site suggestions and other contributions to these interactive Green Maps are greatly valued as well!

Linked below, find a fresh article about the Open Green Map and Drupal, the open source technology behind our acclaimed platform by Thomas Turnbull, our former Lead Developer and current Board Member. Continually advising us and pitching in, Tom helped make mobile access to the platform's data possible from any mobile phone – click GreenMap.org to find 'what's green nearby'! You can also get the free Green Map iPhone App (we are seeking a sponsor for version 2 - contact us for details).

Images include scenes from our Summer Virtual Internship Final Exchange - special thanks to visiting Green Mapmakers from San Francisco and Austin, who helped critique the Green Maps completed by students from 6 universities. We'd also like to thank Gottfried Haider, our volunteer from Austria who contributed much 'outside the box' thinking to our work this season, as well as great photos! Having Max Goldstein from Stockholm and Tushar Gogis, social entrepreneur, involved in our planning meetings were also much appreciated.

Chance Encounters with Green Sites

What happens when people on the street don’t have a Green Map or access to our mobile website? Visually compelling Markers posted on green sites will help everyone make the connection to local environment and green living resources.

We’ll be conducting our first test of Green Map Site Markers in NYC as part of the Art in Odd Places festival. Watch for them on 14th Street in Manhattan from Oct 1-10. We’ll be collecting feedback from event-goers and people who just happen to be on the street. You can take part during that time by clicking GreenMap.org/aiop.

And on the final day of the festival (10/10/10), please join us for our own contribution to 350.org's Global Work Party. We’re holding an Icon Design Studio, open to the entire community. Help us create new symbols to highlight climate impacts and local adaptations that will become part of the lexicon used by Green Map projects worldwide.

Join this open Green Map Icon design event on Sunday October 10 from 1 to 4 pm at the 14th Street Y, located at 344 East 14th near 1st Ave. Share your ideas about symbols that could be added to our current set (download at GreenMap.org/icons) that makes every Green Map exciting and easy to use.Thanks to the 14th Street Y, Art in Odd Places, refreshment donors Angelica Kitchen and all the designers and the sites where our test Markers will appear.

Following the festival, more Green Map Icon design sessions will be announced in this newsletter, in our tweets (follow us at @GreenMap), on our Facebook (facebook.com/greenmap) page, etc.

More Places to See Green Maps

Michigan’s Finlandia University is hosting “Green Maps of the World: Charting a Sustainable Future” exhibit from September 20 – October 16. This exhibit will showcase the local Keneenaw Peninsula Green Map and nearly 100 other editions created around the world. Green Map's Director Wendy Brawer will be on hand for both the exhibit opening and to meet with students and the university's sustainability program.

Around the same time, a unique series of wetlands Green Maps will be on view at the 2010 EXPO in Shanghai. As seen in this article, these maps were created by 30 university teams working with WWF China! Find out more about our work in China by perusing the progress report connected to our other Global Giving project, linked below.

Many thanks to all involved in supporting our work this season. We look forward to hearing from you!

Virtual Intern Final Exchange, August 2010
Virtual Intern Final Exchange, August 2010
Green Map site markers at Art in Odd Places
Green Map site markers at Art in Odd Places

Links:

Jul 2, 2010

Green Map Progress in China, midsummer 2010

Guangzhou Mega University Green Map
Guangzhou Mega University Green Map

Through your kind donations, Green Map System has proceeded further with our aim of promoting and localizing sustainable living resources in China and Taiwan. There are currently 13 Mapmakers and 30 Green Maps in China. In Taiwan, 22 registered Green Mapmakers have produced 88 Green Maps! This Global Giving project has been instrumental is making China one of our most active countries. There is now greater awareness across an even more diverse group of population and topics.

Since this Global Giving project started, new Green Maps in China have impacted communities that range from students to socially responsible companies. Geographically, their locations are spread out, from Beijing in the North to Yunnan Province in the South.

We recently received copies of the FRESH Green Map of Guangzhou's Higher Education Mega Center (see image below). It was created by university students who are reaching out to their local communities as they charted sustainable areas and recycling facilities within this educational hub. Your support assists them in promoting more environmentally aware choices. If you would like a printed copy, please send a large self addressed stamped envelope to our office: Green Map, 220A East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009. Find other resources, such as the Kumming Youth Green Map or the Little Things article on our website.

Since our last update, we have proceeded with the translation of the Open Green Map interface, and subsequently the all-important FAQ pages. However, there remains more work to be done, translating tools, videos and other resources for youth and community Green Mapmaking. With the aid of our Green Mapmakers in China, we have plans to further collaborate on new resources and expand our translation efforts. Through this, we hope to build ties with our Chinese partners so that they can work on ground to address issues of sustainability and a healthy environment.

Kumming China Youth Green Map 2010
Kumming China Youth Green Map 2010
Green Map in
Green Map in 'Little Things" magazine, May 2010
Jun 15, 2010

Green Map Inspires and Trains the Next Generation!

Bristol UK
Bristol UK's Steve Parry training adult learners

As a supporter of Green Map System, you may not have realized you are also helping to support a wonderful internship program that bolsters leadership for a sustainable future.

At our New York office, we welcome students from all corners of the world to volunteer with us. Each receives training related to their own field of study. International policy, planning, food and nutrition, design and education are in the current ‘class’ of interns. As you can see in our blog at GreenMap.org/news, between 15 and 20 interns undertake a variety of tasks as they are exposed to sustainability in action! Whether it’s creating new mapmaking resources or assessing the impacts of Green Map projects in over 670 communities, each gains important communications, technology, organizing and management skills that make a positive contribution to their community and profession. As shown below, visitors like Philip Todres from Cape Town South Africa's Green Map project often visit and share directly with interns and our staff to benefit ongoing development.

We have also begun our summer ‘semi-virtual internship’ program for 2010. This special program helps us assist a larger group of student Green Mapmakers. Starting with a two-day training, each student works independently on a theme, campus or neighborhood Green Map. As seen at at the link below, each participant blogs weekly about their progress, and meets with our program coordinator, Celine Teo Ying Zhen, as needed. There’s a midpoint meet-up in July and in August, an exchange of completed Green Maps and lessons learned by this cohort of students from six universities. We’ll also invite the 2009 participants who have continued to develop their Green Maps all year! You are welcome to the exchange – watch the blog for details.

2009 was the first time we held the ‘semi-virtual internship’ and we have improved the process for 2010. We appreciate having the support of Con Edison for this New York-based project, but hope that you will contribute generously as we aim to share the process and outcomes more broadly, creating resources that will help Green Map projects around the world, hosting their own versions of this program. Of course, we'll incorporate the outcomes of related programs, such as the 4BsHive, a network of European Green Mapmakers who are involving a diverse group of adult learners in a European Union-funded exchange mapping program (shown in the attached photo in Budapest's technology lab).

Our ongoing in-house interns as well as those who take part in summer programs and trainings give so much to the global Green Map program. Your donation is a big THANK YOU to their thoughtful efforts to make the world a better place for all of us.

Help us extend a hand to far more youth, life-long learners and other dedicated Green Mapmakers who love their home places!

As our thanks to you – we invite you to visit GreenMap.org/widgets (linked below) and find out how to add our great content to your website or blog. It's easy and you'll be showcasing Green Maps, green sites, photos and more that help spread the word about the global Green Map program!

Our best wishes for a green and healthy summer!

Semi-Virtual Green Map Interns 2010
Semi-Virtual Green Map Interns 2010
Visiting Green Mapmakers share outcomes
Visiting Green Mapmakers share outcomes

Links:

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