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Global News Blog

News and views from Green Map System’s staff, board and our regional Hubs!

Support our New Toolkit

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A Green Map Update!
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GivingTuesday

Now! on Indiegogo

On Dec 2, join GivingTuesday by taking part in our first Indiegogo campaign. You'll be helping us create a new toolkit that engages more community participation as it streamlines the process of making an effective Green Map. Hundreds of communities will become more resilient and informed, thanks to your support!

Yes, our network and our in-house team has already created an array of resources - there are general tools - videos - youth tools - interactive resources - mobile tools - and many others tucked away in our blog and other sections. Now, with your help, we can assess all of them and create one streamlined toolkit that builds capacity, incorporates new technologies and offers innovative mapping experiences. 

Our network of city agencies, nonprofits, universities, youth and grassroots groups will be involved to assure this adaptable new toolkit will provide what's needed today to encourage action and resiliency and  become ever more important with wider stakeholder participation. Moreover, this process will help Green Map project leaders move forward in support of our organization’s trajectory toward going ‘open source’ in 2015. 

Our thanks for your tax-deductible support! Check out the perks when you give online at bit.ly/GMtools - or join us Tuesday night with GivKwik and Indiegogo at ImpactHubNY. read more »

Researching the Research

Over the years, a wide variety of research papers have been written about our work, digging into the outcomes, locally and globally. Now we are in the process of assessing each one for the benefit of future research and for best practice sharing.

The Green Map Research Archive is an ongoing project that began in August 2014. The first phase encompassing 25 diverse papers was recently completed in October, thanks to our fall intern, Shannon Hollenbeck. Currently she is building on the project and moving it into the next phase, which involves converting the archive into an online search tool. Our goal is to make the theses, doctorate and other papers available with their documentation of usage online complementing our current page at GreenMap.org/universities.read more »

Climate Week NYC with Green Map

Participate with Green Map at these Climate Week NYC and several 'climate season' events in which we participated (now moved below the slides on this page). Taking part in the big march (enjoy photos by our tech partner Eric Goldhagen), joining in at forums and meetings (plus exciting announcements by our mayor and state) made us want to declare 2015 as Climate Year in NYC.

Follow us on Twitter for updates at @GreenMap and explore how we put Climate and Energy on the map everyday - you can do it too!
Register at GreenMap.org/join and help promote climate awareness and action where you live.

Interested in some of our climate mapping? This slidedeck traces the history, and this blog share the story of our work for climate health so far...

Many thanks to everyone who took part in these events!

Friday Sept 19, midday
Union Square Greenmarket
Climate Design Pop Up! Get a Green Map there!

3 events on Saturday, 20 September

LUNGS Harvest Festival on the Lower East Side
11AM
Green Mapmaking for Climate Health workshop at a lovely Community Garden, Green Oasis, East 8th St. btwn Aves C & D

Permaculture Skill Share and Music Festival at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn
3:30PM
– Create Your Own Green Map - there are 25 great workshops here!

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces
6:15
- History of Grassroots Activism in NYC
155 Avenue C between East 9th and 10th Streets
Where does change come from? Explore the history of sustainability social movements on the Lower East Side and their impacts on climate and community wellbeing with Bill DiPaolo of Time’s Up and Wendy Brawer of Green Map. Bikes, gardens, composting, green living, maps and more – the power to change is yours.

Friday Sept 26, 5 to 7:30 pm
Climate Week Workshop at Green Map System

220a East 4th Street, NYC
Meet at Green Map System and explore how this 65-country social movement is changing how people understand, visualize and take action for their home places. After a quick world tour and video debut, you’ll learn how to bring Green Mapmaking into your community to promote climate health and engage broad participation. Then, take to the street to test your new skills! A condensed but easy walking tour will explore climate impacts in the East Village and ways its unique social fabric address resiliency. This is a Climate Week NYC event, and a diversity of participants is welcome!

Lots more events:

Summer Newsletter!

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A Green Map Update!
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Map it Fast!

Ready for New Participation

M.OpenGreenMap.org  is our new Mobile Site Collector for interactive Green Maps! This handy webapp makes it easy for everyone to collect new green sites as they visit them. 

Now, Green Mapmakers, tourists, students and locals can collect great green living sites and quickly add up to 8 icons and a photo. Every new site is reviewed by the local Mapmaker, and when it goes live on the map, the person who collected it is notified.

Transforming how Green Maps are made, the Mobile Site Collector can be used with smart phones, tablets or computer. It has 13 language options, thanks to the contributions of the 65-country Green Map network. It even works offline!read more »

Mobile Site Collector Launches!

We are delighted to launch the new Mobile Site Collector!
It’s super handy for charting green living sites on the go and for involving new participation in Green Mapmaking.

Try it at M.OpenGreenMap.org – complete info and video are at GreenMap.org/mobile.

Created by Romanian Green Mapmakers and translated into 13 languages by our global network, this new tool is great for workshops, as well as community members and visitors who encounter places that belong on the Green Map. “Now, you can add them as you find them!" said Wendy Brawer, director of the nonprofit Green Map System. "The Collector automatically grabs the location, and all you need to do is select icons, add a little description and snap a photo. Each site is reviewed by the local mapmaker and contributors receive a notice when it’s on the Green Map”.read more »

1st Green Map Collector Workshop

In July, we took part in organizing a workshop at the United Nations that introduced Green Map’s new Mobile Site Collector to participants from 7 countries - explore the map we made at OpenGreenMap.org/UNdistrict-nyc!

Organized by summer interns Benji Shulman and Samantha Riccio, it was hosted at the head office of Global Action to Prevent War, a UN-based NGO (follow their important work at GlobalActionPW.org). While most participants have a UN connection, the group also included a member of the surrounding Community Board, Manhattan CB 6, which is an appointed advisory liaising with local government on an ongoing basis.

After short introductions and an ice-breaker (where everyone had to share the greenest thing they had done that day) participants were given a brief history of the district and global examples showing how community-engaged mapmaking has been used to build knowledge, networks and action for inclusive, sustainable local development.

Based on her experience making other Open Green Maps with the Collector, Green Map’s summer intern Samantha Riccio then gave a tutorial on how use this new fast, fun tool on mobile phones and tablets. The Collector allows people to collect sites as they encounter them through a simple effective web-app interface on their smart phones. “Offering 13 different languages, the Mobile Site Collector is the perfect tool for this very diverse group. Hopefully it will inspire them to introduce Green Mapmaking to their local communities” said Samantha.

Use the Collector at M.OpenGreenMap.org

Then the fun really began with participants breaking into groups and spreading out around the UN to make use of their new-found mapping capability. Along with many famous landmarks in the area, smaller sites such as bicycle repair and tailoring shops were also mapped. Some groups even discovered beautiful public spaces that had been unknown to them even though they had worked in the area for some time. In just 45 minutes, participants mapped 14 new sites complete with descriptions, photos and the signature Green Map Icons, showing their engagement and enjoyment in the process.

The workshop included a view of all the newly mapped sites and discussion of ways to improve the presentation. This eclectic group's feedback very helpful as we move toward launching the Collector on August 6th, and planning next steps for our 'Map it Fast' mobile tools. Thanks again to Samatha and Benji for their work on this project and to Global Action, which posted a blog here as well as hosted, and to all the participants.

NYC Fashion Map

Can we put 'good' clothes on the map? Explore OpenGreenMap.org/NYCfashion, which shares shops and services for lower impact shopping choices. Open for everyone to contribute new sites, ratings, images and videos, it's embedded below (along with the code to add it to your own website). To reach new audiences and to provide a version you can print for exploring downtown's sites, find a "Jauntful" version as well as a Pinterest of the sites below.

read more »

10th Taipei Tech Matsu Volunteers Mapping on Beigan Luoshan Nature Trail!

mapping survey on Beigan Luoshan Nature Trail(北竿螺山自然生態區) 2014-7-2

第10屆馬祖服務隊在總召馬家帶領下在北竿螺山吃大蘋果!
在酷暑中正中午的驕陽沒有打敗大家文化踏查的熱情,期待景點訪查的紀錄回報!
更多螺山自然步道的介紹,
可以參考馬祖國家風景區網站
read more »

10th Taipei Tech uni student Matsu volunteer team mapping survey and eating big apples on the Beigan Luoshan Nature Trail.
You can find more information on the

Cape Town Green Map is Runner-Up in the Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation Award

Cape Town Green Map

Cape Town Green Map and the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation were both runners up in this category of the Greening the Future Awards.

Cape Town Green Map is thrilled to have received this recognition and says 'bravo' to Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and their community gardening project.

Lisa Johnston reported on the two Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation Award runners up in the Greening the Future supplement in the Mail & Guardian:
Mainstream in Cape Town

When the Cape Town Green Map was launched in 2009 it was with the conscious intention of positioning all things green firmly in the mainstream.read more »

Green Conflict Resolution

Green Map System is the kind of place where different things to come together from different places in unusual ways. Much of my work in South Africa involves community relations and interfaith contexts the rest of the time I also have a passion for the environment. I am in New York for the summer doing some volunteer work for Green Map System and a peace and security partner organisation Global for Action to Prevent War. Could you possibly bring all these strands together in one meeting? On my first day at Green Map that is exactly what happened. Here is the story. read more »

Glasgow WAVE map goes live

We have just started a new volunteer project in partnership with two other local organisations - The Whiteinch Centre and LINKES. The project - Glasgow West Area Volunteer Experience (WAVE) - will develop and enhance volunteering opportunities in the area and the ability of the three partners to host and support volunteers more effectively.
One element of the project is the development of a map of local organisations that provide volunteer opportunities. The online map has gone live with the first seven organisations that want to be included and we have also got a first version of the hardcopy map which is very exciting too!read more »

Open Engagement

The Queens Museum hosts beautiful and innovative exhibitions and events, and in May, Green Map System took part in the Open Engagement conference with our partners at the Queens DiverCity Green Map project, Carlos Martinez and Beatriz Gil and the local arts org, Hibridos Collective. Carlos took the wonderful photos here, more are on the group's website.

OE is an annual exploration of various perspectives on art and social justice. This year it focused on a Life/Work theme, and, we found the venue and event to be an ideal showcase for Green Map! Together, we led a virtual tour of New York City around the Panorama – an amazing model of NYC built for the World Fair in 1964, and kept up to date, accurately featuring the city’s streets, buildings and green spaces.

The conference attracted attendees from all over and our 'tour group' included several states and countries. Together, we discussed many noteworthy sites, spread across all five boroughs, as seen on this little map.

We presented both global and local Queens Green Map and explored the use of our shared iconography to express the positive, green and innovative as well as the toxic and hazardous aspects of these various sites. Then, we taught the group how to use our-soon-to-be-released Mobile Site Collector to collect and add more sites to the Green Map we created especially for this event.

Our thanks to the Queens Museum, partners, organizers and participants. We had a great time sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and exploring new ways to strengthen resiliency in our hometowns!


Wendy, Bernice, Carlos, Beatriz and visitors walking around “New York City”


Visitors share their experiences and assess the potential for mapping for community engagement


Bernice (author of this post) presented one of the New York's most beautiful views - of the Hudson River and the NJ Palisades. During her internship at Green Map, she also published a Green Map of Tel Aviv!


Like being in a virtual helicopter (but without noise!) we strolled across the city in seconds

Mangroves and Maps

Images by China Mangrove Conservation Network

#China is now home to dozens of Green Map projects, promoting sustainable lifestyles in many rural and urban communities. We at Green Map System especially appreciate the one initiated by the China Mangrove Conservation Network.

Mangroves play a significant role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing the shoreline, providing protecting to both wildlife and people against waves and hurricanes. Mangrove forests also have a great capacity of storing CO2. In many places in the world, including China, these important trees are being cut down at an alarming rate for firewood and coastal development. A China Mangrove Conservation Network (CMCN) staff member, Jessica, described the organization’s work:read more »

Tel Aviv Sustainable Food Green Map

1909 Lot Lottery in Jaffa

There is so much to do as we search for ways to engage new people in a greener way of living.

My name is Bernice, I have lived in Tel Aviv Israel my whole life until recently, when I moved to New York and started my internship here at Green Map. Tel Aviv is a cool and vibrant city, with a fascinating history and great beaches. Tel Aviv also has a great culinary scene, and being a Mediterranean city, you can find fresh produce sold in many open air markets all year round.

I thought that a great angle from which to start mapping my city would be sustainable food, since everyone in Israel is always exchanging recipes and rivalry between the fans of different Hummus makers can become dangerously heated. A sustainable food map can also serve as a useful resource for the hundreds of thousands of tourists coming in every year, giving them the ability to practice responsible tourism as well as information about some of the best restaurants and markets in the city.read more »

How Green Maps Impact Tororo Uganda

Some of the Impacts of the Tororo Green Map project

We're delighted to post this blog about project impacts by Odulla Joseph in #Tororo #Uganda. Find the project's profile here

The first Green Map on the African continent was created by the Tororo Green Mapmaking team. The first edition of this map was made in 1999, with the second Tororo Green Map following in 2004. I am Odulla Joseph, a secondary school geography teacher, and as the project leader, I worked very hard creating the two editions.

These two Green Maps have had a significant positive impact on the sustainability of Tororo, making it more friendly and a better place to live. Adults and children participated in green site identification, and everyone learned about the friendly and unfriendly sites we have in Tororo. The process helped children discover types of environmentally friendly green sites that are found in other urban areas around the world, but were missing in Tororo. This helped cultivate an environmental mind and attitude among the children, encouraging them to create more friendly green sites and initiate activities such as planting special trees in their homes, municipal gardens and along the sides of the roads. read more »

Thank you, U Michigan!

UM Students 2014

We had special guests visiting our East Village office this week, coming all the way from Michigan to help develop a strong concept for the new version of GreenMap.org. Andrew from Taiwan, Nehal from India, Anna from Philadelphia and Vincent from China are graduate students at the University of Michigan School of Information in Ann Arbor. They chose to work with Green Map System for a week, redefining the structure of our website and brainstorming ways to improve user experience.

The photo shows University of Michigan students interviewing our board member Carlos Martinezread more »

News from Germany

Bernice and Aruna

In recent years, more and more federal sustainability policies and initiatives are spreading throughout Germany, with the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emission by 40% by 2020 and increasing the share of renewable energy sources consumption by 60% by 2050. In the meantime, a quarter of the energy consumed in Germany is produced by renewable energy sources. This is a great setting for the several ongoing mapmaking projects taking place in Germany at the moment. Green Maps are now live in Berlin, Hamburg and Darmstadt, engaging communities and tourists in continuous efforts to promote greener and healthier ways of living. read more »

Cuba's 15 Years!

La versión española más adelante

Mapa Verde Red, the Green Map network in Cuba, is one of the more dynamic and elaborate ongoing Green Mapmaking projects. Based at Centro Felix Varela in Havana, the Cuban Green Map team has been incredibly prolific in creating tools, maps, videos, guides and educational frameworks. Led by biologist Liana Bidart Cisneros, a great group coordinates all aspects, including María Luisa Ventosa Zenea, Dely Rodríguez Velázquez, Asunción Capote Fernández, Gustavo Blanco Vale and Victoria Castillo Garrido.

In 2013, the 15th anniversary of Mapa Verde Red was celebrated with the publication of Mapa Verde en el contexto Cubano. Published by the Centro Felix Varela, this book is a thorough overview of the processes and methodology underlying the practice of Green Mapmaking as a means for sustainable community development. Download the book below! This anniversary was also marked by the Cuban national television station with a short film showing the network’s impact on sustainability in rural and urban communities in 12 of Cuba's 14 provinces.

Spot Mapa Verde from Centro Félix Varela on Vimeo.read more »

6 New Impact Stories!!

''Green Map Impacts’, our book of locally written stories about the dynamic projects and their outcomes has been updated with new stories!

Six new stories are featured at the top of this page, followed by the original set of stories, first published in English and Japanese in 2009 in partnership with Aichi Green Map and Green Map Japan. New! Story #7, contributed by the Iceland Green Mapmakers, follows the group of six!

The new stories feature new tools and approaches – enjoy them all, story by story or download the complete book (15 MB PDF)!

Special thanks to all the authors, photographers and partners who contributed to the book project; Emily Saltz for initiating the update, Eugenie Flynn and Wendy Brawer for editing, Aaron Reiss for design, WonSun Choi for translation, and Bernice Keshet and Aruna Reddig for their work on this page. Find more outcomes at GreenMap.org/impacts. And now, the new Stories:

read more »

New 'Green by Design' Icon!

Green by Design

Globally recognized Green Map Icons connect all the maps and mapmakers together. Three versions of this award-winning globally designed symbol set have been released over the years, each one complete with multilingual posters and related resources for printed and interactive Green Map. Find them at GreenMap.org/icons.

The design process has been inclusive and exciting but quite time-consuming. This year, we are piloting a new process, and have begun adding new icons, one by one, to the set.

Our first new icon, Green by Design, originated in Cape Town South Africa, where the terrific Green Map project has been part of the World Design Capital 2014 bid and project. Green Mapmakers Arne Purves and Philip Todres have contributed the new symbol as well as posted a blog introducing the World Design Capital program. See the new icon on the interactive Open Green Map there and follow at #WDC2014!read more »