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Exploring Mapa Verde / Explorando Mapa Verde

Mapa Verde Collage

Cartógrafos de América Latina, por favor, deplacése hacia abajo para nuestra encuesta adjunta!

Mapeadores da América Latina por favor, desloque-se para a nossa pesquisa ligado!

Latin American Mapmakers, please scroll down for our attached survey!

Mapa Verde is Spanish for “Green Map” so we use the name Mapa Verde to describe our Latin American sustainability mapping initiative. It has grown significantly since its first project, Buenos Aires, was registered in 1998. Since then, the Mapa Verde network has published over 25 unique Green Maps in print or online, including several Open Green Maps. To date, Mapa Verde has published projects in 15 countries, with many more registered or underway. Now, to gain more insight into the processes, outcomes and impacts of this locally-directed work, we are surveying the region’s culturally linked Mapmakers, including all those from South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

As an intern at Green Map System and a University of Richmond student of Geography and International Studies focused on Latin America, it was natural for me to develop an investigation of the Mapas Verdes initiatives. After digging through Green Map’s archives of locally made maps, education and outreach tools, searching through resources online, and reviewing the project profiles on GreenMap.org, I have categorized a number of Mapa Verde projects, including a few that were previously undocumented.

The time I spent organizing and collecting project data only increased my interest in the Mapa Verde initiatives and the diverse developmental processes undertaken with each map. Consequently, it is my desire to move further with this research, answering questions such as, how has Mapa Verde impacted communities? How does each project collect data, incorporate member participation, and distribute their maps? And most importantly, has Mapa Verde increased sustainability in Latin America?

In order to gather the needed information for my inquiries I have created a trilingual survey designed for all Latin American Green Mapmakers. Directly appealing to each initiative, I intend to delve into the hidden layers of map production and develop an assessment that will inform future participants in the region and provide a qualitative analysis of Green Map’s effectiveness and uses.

With my findings, I will author an analytical report that will incorporate discussions of my methods, literary reviews, results, and conclusions. This research has been supported by the David D. Burhans Civic Fellowship, and will be presented in the fall of this year to this foundation, University of Richmond students and professors and the Richmond Virginia community. I would like to extend thanks to Wendy Brawer, founding director of Green Map System for allowing me to undertake this project, as well as Dr. David Salisbury, my academic advisor at the University of Richmond for guiding me through this process.

As of July 19, ten mapmakers have responded as mapped here. I invite all Mapmakers from Latin America to fill out the survey by clicking here. I look forward to learning from these responses and sharing the report here later in 2011.

Alexandra Purdy
University of Richmond 2012