TITLE has changed, Manifesto version 0.3 can be found here.
#Mapping as a Commons, what does it mean? (0.2)
See the introduction on why these principles are necessary, how they came about and what they are for here: https://commonsblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/mapping-as-a-commons/
The principles are the condensate of globally dispersed, locally found initiatives which collaborate for building and maintaining a shared mapping commons.
Stick to the Commons: as a goal and a practice
The challenge is twofold: contribute to the Commons as a shared resource and do it through commoning. Your mapping project is not a deliverable, nor a service-product to compete on the map-market. Hence, it is paramount to systematically separate commons and commerce and to integrate the insigths (patterns?) of successful commoning-practices into your mapping initiative. Strive for coherence at any moment!
How to separate commons and commerce? Separate Commons and Commerce to make it work for the Commons
Create syntony on the goal
Discuss your common goal and your understanding of „mapping as commoning“ again and again. And again! Everybody involved should resonate on the essentials and feel in syntony with mapping for the Commons through commoning at any time.
People’s needs first
Maps provide orientation to common people but also visibility of power and policy-driven agendas. Make sure your map doesn’t feed the power-imbalances. People’s needs trump desires of institutions, donors or clients.
Keep an eye on interoperability and use web technology
To map as a commoner implies caring for other mappers needs and concerns. You will take them into account through dialogue with partner-mappers and make sure interoperability is a shared goal.
Contribute to the Federated Commons
Mapping the world through commoning is a double contribution: among commons projects and initiatives toward a Federate Commons and between commons projects, solutions or initiatives and other socio-economic alternatives.
Provide open access
Always. To everything.
Use free software
Work with free software at all levels is critical, as it is not about the freedom of the software, but about your freedom to further develop your mapping projects according to your own needs.
Self-host your infrastructure
Only use technology which allows to be replicated quickly, as to allow both collaboration and autonomy in the building up of infrastructure and services. This is the case of infrastructure as code (i.e. available in git repositories that anyone can fetch and deployed e.g. as docker containers). Often, you will want to eat your own dog food, as to progressively iterate and improve its quality through direct usage. Documentation is a key factor in allowing others to replicate, join and contribute to the commons: don’t leave it for after, do it often, transparently, be it in an etherpad, a permanent chat (e.g. riot or rocket), or a wiki. Make sure it is readable by others.
Build on open technology standards
Ensure your map(s), its data and associated mapping applications can be reused on a wide diversity of media and devices. Ergo: hands off proprietarian technologies and their standards. Don’t think about them not even as interim solution. If you do, you risk to add one interim to another and get trapped into dependencies.
Make sure you really own your data
‚Mapping as a Commons‘ strives for mapping sovereignty at all levels. In the short run, it seems to be a nightmare to refrain from importing data for geolocation or copying & pasting what you are not legally entitled to. In the long run, it is the only way to prevent you being sued or your data being enclosed. Make sure you really own your data. It prevents you from the real nightmare of at some point loosing your data without being able to do something against.
Use free open data licenses
To own your data is important, but not enough. Make sure nobody dumps your common data back into the world of marketization and enclosures. What is in the Commons must remain in the Commons. Free licenses protect the result of your collective work at any moment. Make use of them. It’s simple.
Guarantee the openness of taxonomies
A taxonomy is incomplete as a matter of fact. It is one out of many entry points to complex social worlds. The more you learn about these worlds the better you can adjust your taxonomy. An open taxonomy allows your peer mappers and users to search it for a concept, link them -via tag- to a parent category, to add missing concepts if you allow for or to merge tag structures.
Make the Data Commons thrive through your usage
Link to WikiData and OpenStreetMap from the beginning! It’s just nonsense to maintain your single data set. There is so much to benefit from and contribute to the data commons. Explore abundance and contribute loads to our shared data.
Care for your Data Commons
Strive for accuracy and remember at the same time, that there is always subjectivity in data.
Protect the ‚maps & atlasses commons‘ legally as commons
Remember: each commons needs protection. Innovative legal forms help to prevent cooptation. Make sure the resulting maps and atlasses own themselves instead of being owned by any specific person or organization.
Crowdsource your mapping
Do so whenever you can and for whatever is needed: money, time, knowledge, storing space, hardware, monitoring etc.
Remember always why you are making the map and who you are making it for.
Remember that everyone is a mapmaker. Share what you can and if everything looks dark: take a break, keep calm and continue commoning.
Archive the map when it doesn’t work anymore for you.
Others might want to build on it, somewhen.