What's on the various maps: Green, Political, Regional, Organic, etc?

(Matt Wallis) #1

I have just added a TransforMap tag to an OpenStreetMap POI (Point of Interest) for the first time. Initially, I didn’t understand the relationship between the attributes of the POI and the different maps. This post attempts to answer my own question. Is this already documented somewhere else?

What’s on the various maps: Green, Political, Regional, Organic, etc?

http://transformap.co/, presents us with a choice of 4 maps: Green, Political, Regional and Organic. But what’s on them?

In fact there are more than 4 maps available. To see this, click on any one of the 4 maps. You will then see a map with a menu on the right hand side. If you click on “Explore other maps”, you will see that there are in fact six different maps: Organic, Regional, Fairtrade, Green, Secondhand, and the map of Identities. The TransforMap of Identities is another name for the Political Map.

Each map applies a different filter to the underlying OpenStreetMap data. Having selected a map, you can see a description of the filter by clicking on “About this Map”.

Question: For those wanting to check the precise definition, where is the “source code” for the filters?

There are a couple of consequences of this:

  • POIs can appear on more than one map.
  • POIs can appear on none of the TransforMap maps, even if they were entered using the TransforMap editor http://editor.transformap.co.

The TransforMap of Identities

This map is special: it is the only one that restricts the view to places in the alternative economy. This is because POIs that appear on the map of Identities must have the tag “identity” set. This tag is used to say to which community (within the alternative economy) the POI belongs. Examples of communities include Solidarity Economy, Degrowth, Commons and many more. For the full list, see http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/TransforMap#Self-description_of_a_community.

Other maps may include organizations that operate within the mainstream economic system. For example, a health-food shop that is part of a multi-national chain, but which is tagged “organic=yes” will show up on the Organic Map.

Question: The name “TransformMap of Identities” seems to be too general, and takes quite a bit of investigation to work out what it really means. Is this just a temporary name? The same observation applies to the OSM tag “identity”: it seems too general.

Regional TransforMap

This map shows places where locally produced items are available. Before checking “About this map”, I had assumed that it was a map of geographic regions, as this is a normal usage of the term “regional map”. I think that the title “Local Produce Map” would be clearer.

The “About this map” text says “For an item to be displayed, it must have the “regional” tag set …”. I could not find this tag on the OpenStreetMap wiki, but I’m also new to OpenStreetMap, so I probably missed it. Can anyone point me to it?

Green TransforMap

A map showing Green Spaces. (not green as in “eco”, which was my original understanding).

What is the status of the maps?

  • Is there some discussion on the forum that will show how this set of maps was chosen/evolved?
  • The current website is demo.transformap.co. Is there some discourse about which maps will go beyond the demo stage?

Where on the forum should this go?

I’m now looking at Engineering/Demo Maps - would that be a better home for this post?

(Paul Mackay) #2

Do you have any info on how each of the maps is defined? Where are the definitions created?

(Thomas Kalka) #3

@pmackay, this are more ore less demo maps for the transformap flavoured OSM viewer developed by @species, and not a general showcase, what transformap should/could be.

Up to my knowledge the maps are defined as overpass-api-queries inside the javascript.
They are by no means “official” transformap layers.

We have to establish a way, in which overpass-api-queries will be crowd generated, curated and published, independent of a visualization layer.

A Display of a “Mappings of the Mappings” would be more suitable as a showcase of transformap, IMHO.

(Michael Maier) #4

Hi @mattw,

sorry for the long delay before answering this… A cold caught me in the middle of a big pile of work, only slowly catching up…

In fact, there is a whole Discourse subcategory for the demo maps (introduction post) - but your questions are not all answered there yet :slight_smile: .

One of the goals of TransforMap is to visualise the different ‘political’ identities (Commons, Transition initiatives, Ecovillages, …) inside the alternative economy, where initiatives belong to. But there has been a huge dispute on the word ‘political’, as being to political, so we simply left that out in our TransforMap taxonomy and called it identities.

And yes, it is too general. In the next iteration of the TransforMap taxonomy it should be split up in ‘networks’ (like the Global Ecovillage Network or Transition Initiatives) and movements (like Commons or Degrowth).

Thanks for the hint - as a non-native speaker, I assume I didn’t get the meaning right - your suggestion sounds much clearer! I’ve opened an issue for that.

This tag isn’t official yet. In fact, I have invented it just for that purpose because such a tag didn’t exist yet.
That’s how OSM works: Someone just starts using a tag, see if it works and others find it useful too. If enough people use it, it gets ‘official’ - either through an official proposal process or just through usage.
If I find time someday, I will start a proposal process - in this case, it maybe gets changed to regional_produce or whatever native speakers find more reasonable.

Yes, we/you can move it there if you wish!


In the ‘About’ text on each map, you can find a short description which tags out of the OSM database are used to display POIs.
Technically, there is an Overpass API call to fetch each map content.

(Paul Mackay) #5

@species thanks for info! About the maps definitions, could it be worth exploring defining a map in a config file, perhaps a YAML or JSON file or something? Wondering if its possible to abstract out the deifnition from the code that renders it?

(Michael Maier) #6

Currently, the Overpass Query is already build from a JSON variable, e.g. for the second-hand map (link to file on github):

q_array = [ [ '"second_hand"~"only|yes|limited"' ],
            [ '"shop"="second_hand"' ],
            [ '"amenity"="public_bookcase"' ],
            [ '"service:bicycle:second_hand"="yes"' ] ];

The engine currently supports and/or combining of overpass parameters for building the queries, so you can define every possible query via JSON.

There are other variables that define the icon sets and the tags used for selecting the icons.

(Matt Wallis) #7

An interesting point. As a newcomer to TransforMap, I thought that the “demo” maps are TransforMap, and that the reason that they are described as “demo” is that only some areas (mostly in Germany and Austria) have been populated. I now know (after a lot of reading) that my first impression was incorrect! Looking at my initial text in this thread, I see that I wrote it before understanding that the demo maps are not TransforMap.

(Benjamin Brownell) #8

This is probably the most helpful thread/post I’ve found so far to understand more technically how transformap operates currently, and get some ideas about what might be in store. Thanks!

The question I have in focus now: is there a plan to eventually build a kind of ‘meta’ map editor which allows for the easy creation of custom mappings, such as the demo maps now? So a user can create for example transformap.co/bike-belg which reveals all the bicycle transit system related POI in Belgium, based on appropriate filter/tag/view settings? Plus perhaps additional layers like travel routes, and events? Or is the goal more of a single comprehensive mapping, with good interface controls so that anyone can easily find and apply their own custom settings/searches?

(Jon Richter) #9

For another explanation of what the continuum that unfolds inbetween your questions may look like, please have a first read of @gandhiano’s essay

I will come back answering your concrete questions and linking them to the arguments presented above another time.