Ale Fernandez @alefernandez


I’m working in the cooperativa integral catalana where we are doing mapping at using macadjam - a django based app. We also have participated in mapjams and personally I’ve also worked with Shareable, and with Barcelona en Transicio, also with an interest in mapping. What I’m most interested in at the moment is to be able to agree on definitions for fields and in this way develop a shared understanding of what we are mapping. If we can agree on basics we can then adapt each our own extensions of that basic mapping that would then be interoperable between maps. I discovered transformaps at ouisharefest in Paris this year and gave an interview on fair coop and participated in the workshop which I found very interesting. I look forward to working with you all!



hi Ale, nice to meet you here too :smile: what exactly do you meet by “the definition for fields”? What do you refer to when you say “field”?
Did you have a look at our taxonomy, which is needs based. Here I tried to explain why. Why is our taxonomy needs based?

Yes I would love to see the taxonomy you have so far! Where can I see it? Sorry I’m not finding things on the site so far (I need a map!! ;)) but yes, I’m talking about metadata definitions. I worked in library management systems in the noughties and I think the best way for decentralised interoperability is by extending some basic vocabulary as needed and in some structured way. My data is all about spaces and alternative housing. It’s like an internal, community run airbnb/spaces database, whose objective is to map all our projects geographically for different uses.

It’s interesting that you start with a needs perspective which we discussed at length at the beginning of the catalan integral cooperative but we find people tend to have very different opinions of what a “need” constitutes, and it’s important not to lose whatever fields people are actually mapping at this time, in practice, in existing maps today, even if it doesn’t fit the needs mold or allowing for a way to convert to it - and to allow for extensions on a basic set of definitions by agreeing on fields like geographical addresses, image sizes or last-edited fields (or whatever is needed) and to have extensions held and maintained in common so that maybe ourselves and other people working in housing can decide the difference between the different types of spaces that exist and different groups’ emphasis on different aspects of them.

A summer work online map for alternative communities would have information about short stays, whereas a communities guide would tell you the entry process, objectives and visiting or assembly days and the type of members sought for each particular proejct, but both websites might have the same space listed in each, and pulling different subclasses of data from the same network with the same shared taxonomy… Anyway that’s my long winded way of exaplining it! Hope it makes sense.

Hi Ale, you might also be interested in this project:

We’re working on common vocabularies so different related apps can internetwork.

I’m working mostly on this sub-project, which is common vocabularies for open value networks, which is related to both TransformMaps and cooperativa integral catalana.

I’m also working on open source software for value networks that will use that vocabulary, which is also based on Django. Ping me here if you want to talk. Or raise questions on the issues list for any of those projects.

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Hello @Ale_Fernandez
nice to have you on board. Probably we quite soon will have a big process to integrate many partners in a process of collectively producing, what you are adressing here.

The link you provided above does not seem to work. I would really be interested to have a look at
Would you like to share more of your ideas how processes to come to some agreements of definitions could be?

hello @bhaugen
good to have you on board as well, could you share more on the openvocab project you mentionend? That would be great. The github link does not give a lot of information for nontechnical people. I would be interested.

: )

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The vocab is just getting started, although the value network software is in use in four networks, with another one just getting started.
For example:

The organizational vocab has been broken out separately, and is ahead of everything else. It’s called holodex.
I’m starting to plug some value network data into it, which will be our first case where two different projects use the same vocab.

You might find the principles behind the ovn vocab to be helpful. Or not.

We haven’t gotten into Needs yet, but we want to: they totally fit. @almereyda and @pmackay are at least somewhat aware of the vocab projects. (I think.)

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P.S. the value network software maps are currently broken, and if we had a way to plug into another map project (hint hint), we would be interested.

We’re using OpenStreetMap, and were using MapQuest’s community tiles, which they discontinued, and we haven’t gotten around to finding other tiles.
Serves me right for using a supposedly open set of tiles from a proprietary company. But we needed tiles that covered some rural areas in the US, and those did.

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Thank you a lot. I just read the well elaborated principles. Great.
Specifically, they might not fit so well to the aim of commoning as mappers
/ generating maps as commons, but they give me great inspiration for that
principles to be developed!

@josefkreitmayer - you wrote,

they might not fit so well to the aim of commoning as mappers / generating maps as commons

What principles would not fit? What would need to be removed, changed or added?

If, for example, the maps incorporate needs, would they also want to match needs with abilities to fulfill needs?

And then what?

(My questions are meant to trigger ideas. I don’t personally need replies, but if replies happened, I’d be very interested.)


Thanks for all the responses, really interesting and so much information!

We have a new developer in our IT team at the CIC who is working on a django based app for finance and accounting management (to handle dual currency and other aspects of alternate economies!)… I will ask if he is aware of sensorica and see if it helps to share this information with him.

About tiles, I’m not sure if this is freemium or how open, but I hear mapbox is good. Another django based crowdfunded platform is “macadjan” which we used to create the site I wrongly linked in my last post:

About how to come to agreements, I think the first building block is a shared document area and editing system like collaborative work using owncloud, a versioning system like git and live collaborative editing using titanpad or co-ment could allow for share maintenance of different versions of a proposed standard with different sub areas for fields that are being discussed or refined.

The second aspect is to have a series of in-person or networked meetings where people can decide on tricky areas or directions and reach consensus on publishing a version of this. This could coincide with mapjams or other distributed events.

And finally, I generally find there are varying levels of time and ability across different groups, so it’s important to get the more able ones to help the less so, and probably have someone able to promote a basic level of adherence to whatever software or interfaces we would then recommend people use so they can adopt these standards.

I hope that makes sense, but I think in a couple of years it would leave us with a basic level of quality and adherence to the standards across all initial participants. When I worked in interoperability for learning resources with JISC in the UK there was a lot of this happening in UK academia in bringing together different platforms that had emerged organically over the years, so perhaps there’d be interest from people involved in that: (old-ish article on the state of things) and ( a list of links to different interoperability schemas). At the time we used openarchives (OAI-PHM) as a way of distributing this metadata across all participating databases equally. Hope that helps!

All the best,


Ale, thanks for the tip about macadjan. Looking into it.

As for mapbox, no more freemium for me. That’s how I got burnt by mapquest. They reneged on their free “community” offering. We’re trying to develop software that any group can deploy for themselves, so we can’t bake in proprietary components.

Good advice about how to come to agreements, but it was not clear to me what agreements you meant, or, in other words, agreements on what?

Hello Alex,
do you have the map Data available?
We would like to bring it to the global OpenStreetMap. That is currently a project of the mapping month may follow up.

@bhaugen please specify, the need of your map in a new topic, that might be interesting in the long run. As I suppose, you need a map with moving objects or flows? That is quite tricky and will not get in our focus in the near future, as we first want to stabilize practice and technology in the area of fixed geographical data. But please share your needs as explicit as possible, to already start the process of flow-map development.

@josefkreitmayer - you wrote:

please specify, the need of your map in a new topic, that might be interesting in the long run.
As I suppose, you need a map with moving objects or flows? That is quite tricky and will not
get in our focus in the near future, as we first want to stabilize practice and technology
in the area of fixed geographical data. But please share your needs as explicit as possible,
to already start the process of flow-map development.

Josef, we are not ready for flow-map development either. We are currently interested in fixed geographical maps.

But we need to replace our map tiles. So we could replace them with other map tiles, or we could plug into another project for our maps.

Since we are very interested in getting all of these related projects starting to understand that they are actually all the same project, we would be happy to try plugging into another map project.

You may look here, there are some free tile sources too:

Hi @bhaugen, when distributing your software, you can use the OSM tiles as default in your sourcecode.
This way you can offer a 100% free stack for download. Anyone deploying it and creating more than the ‘fair-use’ amount of traffic allowed by the OSM-tileservers would then have to replace it with their own tiles.

@species - thanks for the tips. Just looked at the default tiles, they are getting better at rural US areas. Might work for us.

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could you add a link. Can’t find any trace of the app.

We ended up using Mapbox tiles. Works for rural US, which we need.