Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ - this is a continual work in progress.

How to Add A Map or Story

Whether you create a map or another kind of project, Project Stories are the primary way to share what you made with the Green Map tools and ethic. Each story can include in-depth information that shares the project outcomes, thanks participants, and ‘cross pollinates’ your project with network members and our global audience.

In a single Story, you can show a map that was made in two formats, about the related workshop and the video you have made. Or start another Story if some time has passed between editions, your theme; project or process has evolved; you have new leadership etc. Pioneering Green Map Makers may want to add several to highlight key efforts. As all will be linked, each Story can help readers understand the overall flow of your work.

Follow the steps below. Tell the story in your own words, in a way that will inspire people from other parts of the world to get active in their own community. Follow the steps below (or download here).

You’ll notice Create a Story buttons that link to this page. Here, you can start a new Story once you have made a Profile. It’s free and easy, and will promote your organization.

On the top menu, Click Login. You can use your email or Facebook to create a new Profile for your Green Map team, fill in the form and verify. Need help? What else can you do logged in? See the FAQ). You can edit anytime as your team evolves.

Stories are displayed as a thumbnail which opens into a complete story. It’s linked to your Profile.

The thumbnail includes the story’s title, tags and featured image. Notice that a long Title can obscure the lower half of the image. Anything on this form can be edited by you, simply login to see the edit tab above the complete story.

Your title can be the name of the project and place, combined, in a direct or creative way. The title should attract people and give a sense of what your story is about. A short title looks better on the thumbnail and complete form. Your title can be in any language, and website users can chose to see in their own language.

Tag menus quickly sort stories by Type of project, Theme, Audience, Scale and (optional) how it was funded. Choose the most relevant tags - note that tags for Country and Organization Type on your Profile are part of all your Stories, too.

Tags make your project easy to find. Tags allow a filtered group of Stories to appear on related pages. Tags let users search for specific interests. Tags will also help us categorize and map out what’s being created, so new tools and data visualizations of the network can be made.

There are 3 ways to set the center of the map:
1. A textfield for an address / location / Google map URL.
2. Click on the map to set a marker.
3. Click the link for your browser’s geolocation system.

Below the map, two textfields let you name your project's specific area, and include the state, continent or second language that clarifies the location.

As shown on the form, upload a Featured Photo that is square and less than 1 MB. Allowed file types: png gif jpg jpeg. [[Images must be exactly 500x500 pixels pending resizer.]]
The featured image (especially the top) will be visible in the thumbnail, so we suggest a colorful image of your map, project or the people creating it.

You can upload more than one but these featured images are only visible one at a time - accessed by clicking on the left as opposed to images you embed in the description, which are always are visible.
Note: There are many low-cost or free photo editing apps and websites such as Photoscape, or use Preview’s tools to edit the image. Use Powerpoint, screenshot, etc.

This large textfield’s contents will appear to the right of the featured photo. The first sentence is most important. You can keep it short, and all text, or use the ‘Switch to plain text editor’ (or HTML) to put in links, photos, videos, etc.

The help text will help you tell your story - you can include:
Your goals, why your project was initiated, philosophy and key local issues;
Why, what, how, where, who, including: About the community (size of area, population, key aspects);
Credit to your organization team members, volunteers, partners, supporters (Get permission before posting the full name of a child, though).

How you made the Project and why it mattered;
Reflect on a project’s longer term impacts - this can be a testimonial or article, award, social media;
Whether your project is Open and how users can access it;
Offers to help others, etc.

You can edit any time. Please, always check your text & links after clicking submit or making edits.

First! Below the About box, switch the Text format to Full HTML. Without this, your media won’t work correctly.

All of these ‘extras’ will enhance your Story. It will take a few minutes and you might want help from an experienced web person. Here are basic instructions. It’s good to try a little HTML!

Online Maps: If you have an interactive map, collect the embed code (usually found under Share) and add it to the form. If it is too large when you submit it, adjust the width and height.

For example, if you have an Open Green Map, login and use the Widget tab to make a iframe that looks like this:

Paste it into the Story form - click submit to see how it looks. If too big, you can edit the width='50%' height='250' - click submit to see how it looks again.

Links: It’s easy to connect to a specific website or PDF that is online (note, there’s a textfield below for the most important link:

(note that the ” target="_blank"> will let it open in a new page).

Always test links once you have submitted. If a link won’t work, retype each quote mark that may a ‘smart quote’ (slightly angled), and be sure that the code looks just like the above.

Images: You can add an image of a map, project etc, as long as it’s online. You can include a credit or caption, too:
Use Flickr’s Share Arrow on a single photo or an album. Paste the code on the Story form.

If the standard size looks small, you can adjust the standard width and height - make the increase proportional on each, for example, increase by half and width="240" height="180" becomes width="360" height="270"

Or, if the image is online or in another photo sharing service, add the URL to this code:

Too big? Make it half size with this:

To find the URL of an image: right/control click on an image and then, copy image address. It’s best to use images you have rights to, or that are copyright free.

Video: YouTube and Vimeo work fine!
Click the Share arrow, copy and paste the embed code. You can manually adjust the width and height as described under Images above.

Slideshare: works fine if you choose a smaller size embed.
Adjust the size below the embed box, then copy and paste. You can adjust the visible text.

This link is featured with a button, so should link to your Story’s project. Be sure to test the link.
Add the date you started, and if completed, the end of the project.
By clicking submit, your Story will be public. Note: everyone's first posts to this website are moderated to prevent spam. It will be live within a day.

If you had a Green Mapmaker Profile on the Greenhouse, the prior version of our website, you can login at, or update your password there for use on the Open Green Map platform. If you are new, and wish to use OGM for your map, please note that some features no longer work, such as the ability to add lines (such as bike routes) and areas (such as historic area). Still want to use it? Please contact us for help.

Start with the Make a Map section! In these pages, you will find steps to take, Green Map Icons and tools to download, and more. Experience is the best teacher and we have included many inspiring examples of making, marketing and expanding upon Green Maps throughout this website!

If you would like help planning your Green Map, either the basics or more complete contact us as we can provide this to you, too.

In 1992, the United Nations Earth Summit inspired the making of the original Green Map in New York City. The purpose was to draw attention to every green project, policy and place in town, and encourage people to utilize them for community wellbeing and a healthier, lower impact life. That first Green Apple Map gave everyone a fresh perspective on New York.

Responding to inquiries about mapping other cities sparked the idea of a locally-led, globally linked network of projects that would promoted positive change in cities worldwide. Each project would be unique but all would share a set of icons that highlight local nature, culture, social justice and green living sites. This concept became reality during the UN Social Summit in Copenhagen in March 1995, when founder Wendy Brawer and the O2 Global Network of eco designers agreed to co-create the icons and develop the system for adapting the mapping framework and connecting the many different types of projects and people together. Check out the Timeline to see what has happened since, as the movement spread to 65 countries and hundreds of Green Maps were produced!