🎈 Invitation for intermapping digital critical collective cartographies

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(Jon Richter) #1


This spring, TransforMap is reinventing itself and is seeking encounters with the Transformaps communities again. For this reconnection to happen, we have prepared the Intermapping Charter that lays out the primary aims of our mapping activities. In continuing with a steady pace, we seek to strengthen the connections that are already there.

To welcome this summer, we would like to invite for a week-long mapping endeavour to Transition House Witzenhausen. It is situated in a low mountain range and surrounded by organic agricultural education and practice. With its free shop, food cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, organic stores, international student communities and astonishing environment, it always tickles good conversation.


:spiral_calendar: 18.06. - 22.06.2018


:globe_with_meridians: Transition Haus Witzenhausen
Brückenstraße 20
37213 Witzenhausen

To summarise a current collection of mapping initiatives we see maps of varying scales on the horizon:

  • neighbourhood
    Bizim Kiez
  • city
    alternative Stadtkarte Kassel, Berlin im Wandel, Berliner Gartenkarte,
  • political economies
    Karte von Morgen, Ecobasa
  • food sovereignity
    Ernte Teilen, Foodsharing, Yunity
  • resource mapping and exchange
    Commons Booking System, velogistics
  • permaculture
    twice at different regional scales
  • degrowth
    international survey from Research & Degrowth
  • data sharing and exchange
    Transition Connect, Commons API (Berlin, 28.5.'18)

From those, some have a more technical, and others have a more narrational focus. The interest of TransforMap has always been to bridge both on a high level and find commonalities between each. When we built the demonstrator infrastructure was a time in which lost the practice of engaging in critical dialogue. With this invitation we wish to provide an adequate ambiance for both, dialogue with user communities and critical technical reflection at the grande scale.

:bulb: Please let us know if you want to participate, in so we can prepare accordingly.

Seminar rooms, lodging, alimentation, logistics and mobility

There is a space pre-booked at the Transition House for that week. We can use their seminar rooms, the dormitory and the kitchen. For every night staying there they ask a donation from three to five euro per person. We would have to organise food ourselves, but food sharing and dumpster diving usually produced good outcomes.

Additionally, we are in touch with a foundation about possible subsidiaries for travels and accomodation.

🎈 Einladung zu einer Kartierwerkstatt zum Sommeranfang
🎈 Einladung zu einer Kartierwerkstatt zum Sommeranfang
Mapping party in Kassel - documenta (14) / docutopia
kommentierte Liste aktiver Kartierungsprojekte im Frühsommer 2018
Permaculture Organisations and projects mapping
CommonBound 2018 network gathering on data sharing!
(Maïa Dereva) #2

Dear Jon,
I would be very happy to visit you in Berlin! Unfortunately, I already have commitments on the 19th and 23rd, which would leave me only one day available with you (if we count the 10 hours of train!). I hope another time…

(Jon Richter) #3

Thanks for impulse to react so quickly! I am sure there will be other occurencies of intermapping guided by various parties.

I wonder if @fred, @otisyves and me should align for a documentation sprint week and finally crack down those intermapping and media convergence for the commons primers.

(Maïa Dereva) #4

If I am not mistaken, there is an “Intermapping” time with @jnardi scheduled the week of August 22 to 26 in Grenoble, France, during the Summer University? https://ue2018.org/

(Wendy Brawer) #5

Spring greetings, Jon and friends. I have commitments in NYC that week of June. But I’ll be in Copenhagen, Malmo, Bistrita RO, Geneva and Helsinki between 20 May and 8 June - are you nearby? Let’s meet up!

(Jeremy Kidwell) #6

Hi everyone, and thanks Jon for putting up this invitation. I’ve been mostly lurking about on these forums and the Matrix chat rooms, but have been busy working on community mapping across the UK. I’d be interested in joining in for the event. Will need to check on travel from the UK, but I don’t imagine any major issues preventing me from a trip over to Witzenhausen.

🎈 Einladung zu einer Kartierwerkstatt zum Sommeranfang
(Jon Richter) #7

Hi @kidwellj, glad the invitation reached you!

Do you already know possible travel dates, and if you need subsidiaries?

Else there’s now also a pad collecting some infos

Permaculture Organisations and projects mapping
(Jeremy Kidwell) #8

Hi Jon,

Thanks for checking in. I have University funding to cover my travel costs (will drive over taking Calais ferry), and will be travelling with family (partner and 2 kids aged 3 and 7) - so I think we may set up with tent camping nearby. I have an event at University of Heidelberg the same week, so will probably need to leave on Weds (June 20) if that isn’t disruptive to the proceedings.

Would anyone have recommendations of good sites for tent camping that might suit that would be nearby? Also, would it be possible to get an invoice on paper with official “letterhead” for my share of costs? I’ll check out the pad this weekend and get up to speed on the event.

Really looking forward to meeting everyone in a few weeks.

(Jon Richter) #9

Hi @kidwellj that sounds fabulous!

Feel invited to come a little earlier and take part in http://reggae-share-ity.de/, too! Or to explore the country side, hike a little, etc.

There’s a camping site nearby the city centre and our location.

The pad has also been updated with a more distinct description of what outputs of the week can be expected. Would you have anything to add to that? Feel free to type in the pad or respond here.


Finally, we can produce any paperwork that is suitable, with any amounts you deem sufficient. :wink: Please note our hosts (Transition Town Witzenhausen) and us (Ecobytes) are not-for-profit associations that can make use of any contribution that is justifyable.

Glad having you aboard, see you soon!


(Matt Wallis) #10

Hi Jon,

I’m very interested in coming to Witzenhausen. I’m going to say a few things below about what we (Solidarity Economy Association) have done already in the world of data and maps, what we plan to do, and areas I’d like to work on in Witzenhausen.

Our approach


We’d like to see maps that can consume data from many distributed sources. We also view maps as just one type of application that is powered by data describing the Solidarity Economy. This has several implications:

  • Separation of the data from the mapping software that displays it.
  • Use of standards for data.
  • (jumping into detail here!)The ability to recognize when data from two (or more) sources is actually describing the same thing in the real world. The data can then be merged (e.g. on a map you can see merged information about a place which has been described in more than one dataset).
  • many other things too!

The Web of Data

Background viewing: Tim Berners-Lee’s TED talk on the Web of Data

There’s plenty of data out there that is already available in a standard, machine-readable, form. We want to take advantage of this. For example, DBPedia:

The English version of the DBpedia knowledge base describes 4.58 million things, out of which 4.22 million are classified in a consistent ontology, including 1,445,000 persons, 735,000 places (including 478,000 populated places), 411,000 creative works (including 123,000 music albums, 87,000 films and 19,000 video games), 241,000 organizations (including 58,000 companies and 49,000 educational institutions), 251,000 species and 6,000 diseases.

So instead of just saying that we are based in “Oxford, UK” (the familiar, but quite limited string of text!), we link into a vast network of information: http://dbpedia.org/page/Oxford.


All our developments are on github.

We have chosen to use Linked Open Data as the technology for creating distributed data. It provides the hook into a vast world of self-describing data.

So far, we have created a few datasets. Recently, we created a ‘dotcoop’ dataset - containing the UK coops who have a .coop domain name. You can browse the data using a standard linked data browser. For example, this is a view of the Web of Data, starting with our dotcoop dataset as provided by Southampton University’s Graphite browser. If you want to play with it, just start clicking to see the machine-readable data! See if you can find the following:

  • Data about the Agile Collective (hint search for ‘agile’!)
  • Links to other datasets - e.g. ordnancesurvey (for geo data about a postcode), Companies House (for government info about a limited company)
  • links to the same real-world thing being described in a different dataset (hint: look for “sameAs”)

We have created a simple Leaflet map that will display any of our datasets. For example:

We know Linked Data can look scary. We have developed tools to generate Linked Data from the lowest common denominator of data formats: the humble CSV (simple table, as in a spreadsheet).

What’s next

I’m very happy to share my knowledge with others at Witzenhausen, but I’d really like to make progress with the community towards the next steps along this path. Below are some of the things on our list of what to do next.


Our linked data currently has very little in the way of taxonomic description. I am very interested to explore how to bring other taxonomies into this world. For example those used within TransforMap. Our linked data is based on the ESSGlobal vocabulary created by @mariana, and @jnardi at Ripess Europe. I have put the essglobal vocab into github, and we have permission (and encouragement!) to evolve it as required. I’d be very interested in doing some detailed work on this in Witzenhausen.

New datasets

Create new Linked Open Data datasets. SUZY, Permaculture, TransforMap, others???

Community mapping

To date, we have been creating data from sources which are readily available. e.g. Coops UK and dotcoop. This has been great to provide data for experimenting with the Linked Open Data concepts and technologies. But the greater value comes from mapping the invisibles - those initiatives that are at the heart of the Solidarity Economy. We plan to run a pilot project to do this in our home city of Oxford. But we have no experience of this. We need help.

Improved maps

Our current Leaflet map is very simple. You can’t even search on it! It was designed partly as a platform for experimenting with, and demonstrating Linked Data. We want a better map, powered by distributed Linked Open Data, and designed around people’s needs. Should we use our map as a starting point? Should we look into adapting a different map to be powered by Linked Open Data?

Links to other datasets

  • I mentioned DBPedia above, but we don’t yet link into it. An obvious starting point is to link to geographic data (e.g. Oxford, UK). How would the be best done, given an abitrary postal address?
  • Are there other categories of data in DBPedia that we should link to?
  • Are there other datasets we should link to?


I’d very much like to come to Witzenhausen, and will book tickets if what I’ve described above is going to be of interest to others.

(Doug In A Mug) #11

Hi @almereyda and others.

My plans are in flux over the next weeks, but it could be that I can make some of the last days. Would that be OK, or is that disruptive? I would mostly like to come to catch up with people and the state of play, but Kanthaus — yet another Common House Node — should be mapped and I like to learn how best to do so.


(Jon Richter) #12

Hi @mattw please excuse my delay in responding. Your post is an overwhelming response I had always imagined to receive! Thank you for the effort to write it up that clearly.

Since we are already meeting in two weeks, I hope travel prices haven’t risen too much since then. If you chose an airplane, and not the Eurostar, to come, Frankfurt/Main is quite around the corner.

From your What’s next section, I’m seeing three main trajectories to follow on with during the collective explorations then.

  1. Vocabularies
    We are also keen in using the base.transformap.co instance to have wiki-editable, discussable taxonomies available in a quite simple interface for others to interfere with. Should we attempt to represent https://github.com/essglobal-linked-open-data/map-sse/blob/develop/vocabs/vocab/essglobal-vocab.ttl in there? Evolution would then not be constrained to GitHub-savvy developers anymore.
  2. Data + data sets
    We have structured geo data available, that could be transformed into a more rich form with a distinct vocabulary. There also seems to me to be a choice of the name space, where we want to publish individual entries, and in which index we want to render it accessible via SPARQL. Later on Triple Pattern Fragments and the likes can be added on top.
  3. Community mapping interfaces + methodology
    Adrien and Kevin were so kind to write tutorials for uMap for community mapping. Also we know of many other mapping interfaces, that can produce accessible geo data. We could find a suitable one for you, and prepare a methodological frame in which it can be used by many on site in Oxford.

I feel I can also spend some time in stabilising our Wikibase setup, learning from the now official Wikibase Docker, and would also like to prepare a migration of the http://wiki.transformaps.net/ into a regular data catalogue, namely CKAN, in so something like http://ec-melodies.github.io/demo-portal, which adds a thin layer on top of it, would be achievable for us.

(Jon Richter) #13

Hi Doug, if you have been following the German language thread 🎈 Einladung zu einer Kartierwerkstatt zum Sommeranfang or the pad https://hack.allmende.io/s/intermapping-2018-witzenhausen a little, you will find some people already announced temporary participation. Please feel encouraged to dive right in when possible!

Are you thinking about an indoor mapping of Kanthaus, or are you rather aiming at putting Kanthaus on some of the existing maps?

(Doug In A Mug) #14

Thanks for those links, I’ll follow up there. I hadn’t been following the thread: I’m a very poor Discourse user, please forgive me.

Both. We need to redo the technical diagrams of the house, and I’d like to do so in a format which is interoperable, my intial thoughts were to use Inkscape and produce svgs. I want to map Kanthaus on existing maps, but I don’t want to duplicate and end up with massive versioning headaches.

(Matt Wallis) #15

Hi @almereyda,

The three areas you suggest are definitely very interesting to me.

With deep regret, I am no longer able to come to Witzenhausen - something has arisen here (perhaps an opportunity for funding…) that needs my immediate attention.

I very much look forward to hearing what happens in Witzenhausen, and I hope we can work together on data, taxonomies, and maps in the near future.

(Jeremy Kidwell) #16

Hi All,

Very pleased to report that I’m in Witzenhausen after a brief road trip from the UK. I’m sure there will be time to talk about our mapping community project at UOB tomorrow, so I won’t belabour the point here.

For those who are also here and already at Transition Haus - what time to start tomorrow?

Looking forward to it,

Much peace,

(Jon Richter) #17

Hi @kidwellj,

we just met for an organisational round and started a week plan. Please see

As you suggested in the pad, we will start at 10:00 tomorrow.
Other participants will arrive during the day and we commence with an enquiry of our needs.

On Tuesday we prepared some thematic slots, and left space for external online participation.

The other days were only loosely specified.

See you tomorrow!


(Jon Richter) #18

@Maia @Wendy @mattw @DougInAMug

We are commencing the intermapping week tomorrow. Please feel invited to join the english-speaking, open plenary call on Thuesday evening from 6pm - 8pm. We will announce a link 15’ prior to the call in:

(Wendy Brawer) #19

Hi @almereyda - :grin: awaiting the link to join the call

(Jon Richter) #20

Before finding time to conclude the outcomes of the Witzenhausen Intermapping, I have now reached out to possible locations for the autumn Intermapping in Berlin. To do so, I have condensed our sketches and wrote a short pitch about the scope into:

Calling for an Intermapping weekend end of 2018