Devin Balkind @devinbalkind

(Devin) #1


I’m working on a few projects based primarily in the USA that might be of interest to this community.

First, I’m helping with the website and directory system, “a durable network for the emerging democratic online ecosystem. Our goal is to advance platform cooperativism—a vision for online platforms that share democratic ownership and governance with all relevant stakeholders, especially those who contribute their labor and personal data.”

I’ll be working to ensure that our taxonomies and locaiton-based data schema are compatible with the transformap. If you think our data can be usefully managed through your platform than our work (Google Sheets + AwesomeTable moving to WordPress) then I’d be interested in exploring how that could be done.

I’m also working on, which is just getting started. We’re applying best practices from the humanitarian aid open data community (ex. to the cooperative/solidarity economic community in the USA. We’re focusing on making a decent, API accessible directory of data on coops in the US and showing the coop community the benefits of open data (and all the fun things you can do with spreadsheets).

Additionally, I work in the humanitarian sector, currently serving as president of the Sahana Software Foundation, which produces the world’s most popular open source humanitarian aid management tool. It’s an interesting platform that I encourage you to check out and think creatively about how it could be useful for transformation. The platform is great at mapping and we collaborate and have some integration with OpenStreetMaps so it might be useful to this community.

I also serve a variety of nonprofit clients that do resource mapping, with a particular focus on organic/regenerative agriculture in the US.

At this point I’m particularly interested in taxonomies so I’ll be watching that group and bringing the various taxonomies we’re working on there for feedback, merging, etc.

Thanks so much for developing this project and creating this space.

Looking forward to collaborating with you all.

Humanitarian aid and International development
Improving the mapping of maps
(Adrien Labaeye) #2

great to have you here! Very interesting.
Some points:
For info I have started a map of the PlatformCoop ecosystem:

Do you do everything manually?

are in related to See this poste: Noemi Giszpenc, Data Commons Co-op @Noemi_Giszpenc

(Devin) #3

alabaeye Adrien Labaeye scrumteam
April 19

great to have you here! Very interesting.
Some points:
For info I have started a map of the PlatformCoop ecosystem:

Nice. I see some possible additions I could make.

Also - one inaccuracy. Trebor is not involved with
That project is managed by Nathan Schneider. You can see more about who is
connected to that project in the contributors section here:

I’d be interested in helping connect dots in that map if you give me
access. Nathan might also be interested. If you’re open to that I can ask


our work (Google Sheets + AwesomeTable moving to WordPress)

Do you do everything manually?

Nathan does most of the data entry. People also submit entries via Google
Form. Our current plan is that, when we settle on taxonomies and data
structure, we’ll implement this map/directory in WordPress and make the
REST API openly accessible.

AwesomeTable automatically geocodes locations and generates the maps and
filter/searchable card views.

Does that answer your question?


are in related to See this poste:
Noemi Giszpenc, Data Commons Co-op @Noemi_Giszpenc

My organization Sarapis has been a Data Commons member
for about five years and they are aware of our work. Once we finish our
first round of data standards work (hopefully in the next month) we’ll be
inviting them and others to participate in discussion and moving it forward.

(Adrien Labaeye) #4

sorry for the delay. Was traveling.

the map is already open for contributions. You just need to require an account on to start mapping. Same for Nathan. I’d be glad we join forces. I’m preparing some academic research on the topic. Maybe you know researchers (Nathan?) who would be interested to team up.

It does, thanks! Great to know there is such a tool!

Good to know there is convergence on the roadmap.
Is there an (open) place where the conversation is happening?

(Devin) #5

the map is already open for contributions. You just need to require an
account on to start mapping. Same for Nathan. I’d be glad we
join forces. I’m preparing some academic research on the topic. Maybe you
know researchers (Nathan?) who would be interested to team up.

I applied for an account. Will jump in when I’m granted one and will also
pass the invite to Nathan.

AwesomeTable automatically geocodes locations and generates the maps
andfilter/searchable card views.

Very useful. I blogged about it here:

Good to know there is convergence on the roadmap.
Is there an (open) place where the conversation is happening?

The conversation is happening on different threads right now but will
transition to the Google Group here over
the next month.

Improving the mapping of maps
(Adrien Labaeye) #6

Thanks for the additional info. I edited a bit your reply to cut a bit redundant content. Quotes are a bit tricky, they quickly clutter threads.
I don’t know how you’re using it but when you select the content of a post while editing an answer you can then quote that part directly.

(Adrien Labaeye) #7

@devin: is there a place where discussion about the way to structure the inventory is run? I’d like to get in touch. As part of my PhD research I will focus on commons-based collaboration platform and I’d like to see how to build that research in synergy with the directory effort.
@toka: I thought maybe you would like to be aware of that side-discussion here. This is again the same discussion about how to run an inventory in a participative way, collecting good data, shaping categories that make sense, and finally showing that data in a nice way. The solution put together by @devin has the advantage to be pragmatic and with a nice visual aspect, but I can see the limitations such approach has in managing categories or navigating the data (no semantics).
How do you evaluate the effort to develop a small infrastructure of displaying on a wordpress (quasi)automatically the content of a semantic wiki? (this relates to the pre-existing discussion about our own inventory of maps).
cc @Maia: this discussion may interest you too.

(Devin) #8

Hi. If you want to discuss then join this listserv.

I’ve been doing work on as well. It’s a Wordpress-powered Directory system with more robust taxonomy management tools. Our directory is also accessible via WP Rest API. You can see an example of the type of data we make available here. API docs here. We’re also making the data available via CSV through a CKAN data portal here.

Proposal for converging Semeoz work and Transformap wiki of maps
(Jon Richter) #9

@devin, @alabaeye Quite an interesting conversation to follow here. I am astonished about the similarities that were later pointed out as

So now we have an actual counterpart to federate the data with and apply community-generated taxonomies, to describe such a directory at least. Preliminary work on the Vocabulary side is known to us as Portable Linked Profiles, but this never catched too much traction, yet there are working tech demos, including map interfaces.

Glad to know now there is another WordPress plugin to offer such a data layer, instead of Jetpack only. CKAN was once in consideration over here, got forgotten and is happily in use by some of its partners. The directory question may be answered one day by

data.patapouf from Encommuns and now Communecter from PixelHumain solve similar questions. (cc @simonline, @oceatoon)

Please feel invited to extend the existing narrative about TransforMap’s relation to humanitarian mapping in

Then you supposedly already met up with @fosterlynn and @bhaugen?

I am not so sure; read on:

After unsuccessfully trying it and finally reading the documentation, I am pretty sure they use the Google Geocoder, which does not allow to create open data from it.

Despite this technical ending, yes, great you presented all these initiatives and will be a knowledgeable partner to refer to at times.

(Lynn Foster) #10

Hi Devin, sorry so late a reply to this. Bob and I are interested in resource mapping and are in the US. We just finished a week long workshop with the Mutual Aid Network in Madison, WI. We have some pre-alpha software that we used in working with these folks that might actually become useful (not sure yet). We’d love to get the resource flow model integrated with more robust and open source mapping software, and have started talking to @TomShareable about this. I believe he is coordinating with TransforMap in some way also.

Anyhow, we would be interested in exploring potential collaborations… if you are interested in talking further, let us know…

(Devin) #11

Hi Lynn. I looked through your site and the Nova Scotia case study. Interesting stuff. It’s a bit removed from Sahana’s focus on humanitarian aid but my other org Sarapis does some collaborative economy work (see here) so I’m definitely interested in seeing where we could be useful to each other.

That said - Sahana EDEN has some functions you might find of interest. First, our facility module allows people to map facilities, document staff there, manage inventory and assets in the facility and has built in workflows for moving inventory and assets from one facility to another in an audit-able way. We’ve been looking at building some network mapping features but haven’t gotten funding to do that type of work yet.

Check out and, if you find it interesting, lets connect over Skype/Hangouts/etc.

All the best.

(Bhaugen) #12

Hi Devin, sorry to be so slow to follow up. This thread fell off my radar and then was brought back to mind by Michelle Miller in this article about where I saw your name and wondered where I had seen it before.

Anyway, I just looked at your links. The Sahana demo looks very useful, but the Sarapis Collaborative Economy article prompted this response.

It mentions

Enterprise-grade logistics software and productivity tools? Instead of paying for proprietary software solutions produced by old economy organizations, we can invest together in the development of open source solutions produced by new economy networks.

Which is one of the things we have been working on for some years. Both @fosterlynn and I have deep backgrounds in supply chain logistics, me with manufacturing supply chains, Lynn with railroads and pipelines. We’ve been using that experience to develop open source software for new economy networks somewhat described in our lame website. What our website does not say yet is that two other organizations, Freedom Coop in Europe and GoPacifia in Argentina, have started to develop their own versions of our Value Network software, and some people from ISO are talking to Sensorica about organizing a blockchain version.

If you are interested, maybe we should talk. You could send us an email at and we can organize some kind of electronic meetup.

(Lynn Foster) #13

Hi Devin, weirdly, Bob replied here just as I introduced myself over in the Coop Data Standards group, which I see is linked to Sarapis, and which was mentioned by someone over in the ValueFlows project. Some kind of convergence?