I’m from southern France, currently living in Saint-Denis near Paris. I’m a volunteer from CartONG and involved in the french OSM community as well as the associative community in the humanitarian and international development fields.
I started a project a while ago with some other volunteers from CartONG called “Atlas Solidarité Madagascar” with the broad goal to map NGO actions in Madagascar. The project kind of forked about a year ago to become “Django Atlas” a multipurpose web application for the collaborative mapping of local initiatives, which could be used in a multiplicity of contexts. We’re currently finishing the first version for the National Committee for the Fight against AIDS in Madagascar which will use it as an internal tool. Early demo here: http://djangodev.ddns.net:8002/
The collaborative dimension has yet to be implemented.
As you well know, a lot of organisms express a great need for these kind of tools. A few weeks ago I met people from Alternatiba, which emerged during the events leading up to the COP21 and is currently running one of the biggest grassroot movement in France, with about 400 associations in their network. They have a huge impact, but mostly under the radar. All members are mostly autonomous, independent from each other, spread out in big cities and sparsely populated areas all around the country. They need a tool to organize, in a decentralized, collaborative way. They need a map.
Our app could be a response to that and we hope it would be a lot better than the tools most people use for this kind of purpose, like uMap or Google Map Engine. But it wouldn’t be a solution to the increasing dispersion and discrepancy of all the data related to alternative movements. Indeed, there is an “archipelago” of data with small and large “islands” (databases). To stretch the metaphor, I would say that the majority of these “islands” are tiny: there are a multitude of small organisms running a small operation, keeping data regarding only one maybe two projects. But there are also big islands, networks of grassroots movements like Alternatiba. Our goal ultimately is to link up all these islands and gather all this data under a common system.
So, naturally you can guess I was pretty excited when I discovered TransforMap. It was almost three weeks ago and I still am. The possibilities your initiative offers are indless. The problem is, I don’t even know where to start! The less I can say is that it has reshaped the way I saw my own project.
But I’m taking it slow, immersing myself in the expansive documentation you’ve produced. I tend to get lost a bit.
Taking it slow has also been our principle until then and I stick by it. Small team, ten-ish people, working slowly but with continous motivation and steady progress. No deadline, no pressure. You can’t have that when you want volunteers to stay in a project.
I can give more details about the project and will do later, but it’s not important right now. If you want you can find all the up to date info here (French, sorry).