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Frequently Asked Questions About this Website is a global center and an online showcase for our worldwide network of community-led Green Map projects. This FAQ will continue to evolve as our movement expands and digital media improves. This page will help you explore and take advantage of’s new features and resources.

If you are interested in starting or joining a Green Map project in your area, please refer to the FAQ about Green Mapmaking by clicking the link to the ‘Participate’ section from the toolbar on the top of every website page.

The organization, Green Map System, is referred to as ‘GMS’ below.
Officially registered Green Map projects are referred to as ‘Mapmakers’ below.

All About This Website


Technical Background


How can I browse the Green Maps available on this website?

There are different ways to browse:

In the Maps section: By exploring the map or browsing a list of the Green Map projects. This is the best way to find all the Green Maps.

In Blogs, Albums, and News: By clicking on the name of the submitter (in bold text) (e.g. ) on the bottom line of any item.

Everywhere: By using the Search box on the top right corner.

Note that there are two types of Profiles: one for each Map, and one for each Mapmaker. Each Map Profile is linked to its Mapmaker’s Profile, so you can easily switch between the two profiles.

Here we’ll describe the Maps section option.

By List:

Start by clicking the Maps button on the top bar on any page.

On the page’s left column, navigation links direct you to Map and Mapmaker Profiles.

"View on a Map" by geographic location ("by Continent") or by theme ("by Theme"),


"View on a List" by geographic location ("by Continent") or by theme ("by Theme"),

Let’s start by choosing a "View on List" option, under "Maps." A list will appear. Please choose a continent or theme that interest you. Click it.

Then, choose a Map by clicking its name in green bold text. This will take you to the complete Map Profile (these are described in the next question).

Each Map Profile is linked to its Mapmaker’s Profile, so you can easily switch between them. Bold text links the project’s Mapmaker and Map profiles together. Bold text also connects to other maps with the same themes.

By the Map:

Or you can use a map to start your exploration. Start by choosing a ‘View on Map’ option. A list will appear, please choose a continent or theme that interests you. Click it.

A Google Map will appear with leaf icons for every Green Map project that matches the continent or theme you selected. Click on a leaf to see the project’s name and image. Click the bold text name to jump to the Map Profile.

You may want to try a different leaf. Close the white window by clicking the ‘x’ on the top right corner of the window, then zoom in or pan (move screen) to try another. Google says, “since these maps are draggable, you can use your mouse or the directional arrows to pan left, right, up and down to see areas that are hidden offscreen. You can also use the slider to zoom in and zoom out.” You can also choose a satellite or hybrid view More on Google Map is below.

If you are mainly interested in seeing the Green Maps and not profiles, choose "Online Maps" (each is on a local website) or "Download Maps" (these are PDFs and images). Each will open in a new browser window.

You can also click "View All" to quickly see every profile. Note that some of the earlier Green Maps have no Mapmaker Profile, and were simply submitted by GMS staff. Some of the Mapmakers have yet to add Map Profiles, too. Expect to see the number and quality of the profiles continuously increase.

Search Box: If you know which Green Map you seek, use the search box at the upper right.

Or, on the upper left, choose a language and click "Green Map and Mapmaker Profiles." Read the project overviews in that language. For the full Profile, click the name in bold text.

By Submitter: In other parts of this website, there are images, resources, blogs, etc, contributed by different Mapmakers. By clicking on the name of the submitter (in bold text) on the bottom line of any item, you will jump to their Profile.

Exploring the Profiles

Most of the Profiles are written by the Mapmakers to give a global audience more insight into their motivations and goals for starting a Green Map, their methods of production, as well as the impacts of the finished product. Each Mapmaker adds their own map views, images, links, information, and other resources.

When you arrive at a Map or Mapmaker Profile some information is not visible. So simply click on green section titles for more information. (Hidden information is marked by an arrow pointing to the section titles. Displayed information is marked with an arrow pointing down.)

While viewing a profile, under the section titled "Photos," click thumbnails (small images) to view the larger image or an entire album that may be linked to the thumbnail image. There might be captions or a description below the larger images, too.

Have fun browsing!

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How can I get my green site on a Green Map?

Contact the Map project in your community directly, and see if your site matches their criteria. GMS has created the Open Green Map encouraging public participation allowing to suggest sites, rate the ones posted by others, add images and videos, etc. Let us know if you would like to help us.

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How can I help support

Other than leading a Green Mapmaking effort in your hometown, you can help us develop new resources and improve our global network by sharing your skills and social/environmental knowledge (from graphic and web design, PR and marketing, to urban and rural studies). You can use the internet to collaborate with us from any corner of the world, as described on our Internships & Volunteer page. Or, add our banner to your website and help promote our work!

Donations are always welcome! You can send us money from anywhere in the world (and it’s tax-deductible in the US). You can also introduce us to a foundation or corporate sponsor who might help us. Find out more about supporting the local-global Green Map System by checking our wishlist and sponsorship opportunities pages, or simply contact us with your supportive thoughts and ideas. Thank you for joining our list of generous supporters.

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How can I use the Search feature of

In order to search through’s content, type one or more key terms (the word or phrase that best describe the information you want to find) into the search box - top right of every page - and hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard or click on the "Search" button.

Some tips for your search:

  • The search feature is not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be interpreted as lower case. For example, searches for "green map," "Green Map," and "gReEn mAp" will all return the same results.
  • If you are searching the website for an exact phrase, put quotation marks around your search term. Phrase searches are particularly effective if you're searching for proper names (such as "Green Apple Map").
  • Learn more about searching our website from Google’s search tips.

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    How do I use this website? (includes a video)

    We've made a video introducing this website:

    Click to view the video

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    How do you navigate the website?

    By clicking on the top bar buttons (shown in the photo above), you will be directed to the different sections of the websites, where you will find:

    Maps – Profiles of each project.

    Blogs – News contributed by Mapmakers and the global program.

    About – Overviews of our program, mapmaking and Green Map Icons, staff and board, history, and how you can help us.

    Resources – An array of resources for the public and for Mapmakers.

    Participate – How to get involved as a Mapmaker.

    News – Articles, Awards, Newsletters, and for journalists, a Press Room.

    Store – Buy Green Maps, books and videos, gifts, and more. Proceeds help support our work.

    On every page’s left column, navigation links direct you to each page in the section, topped with a green bar with grey text showing which section you are in.

    At the top left is a welcoming message in several languages. By clicking on a language link, you can see all the resources on this website in that language! (These are collected automatically using "tags" (explained below).

    The top right of every page is a search box. Put in your key words (what you are looking for) and click "search" (or see details below).

    Below that, on the right, you will find a quick donation box! Click "go." It’s the fastest way to tell us you appreciate our work.

    Below that is the Event Calendar, which showcases Green Map events worldwide. Click the date for details about event/s on that date. To browse events in future or past months, use the arrows at the top of the calendar on the top to change months.

    Along the bottom of every page are links for you to contact and support Green Map System, find this FAQ, read legal information, see credits, and view the Site Map.

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    How does work?

    Since 1995 our website,, has been the global center for all Green Map projects. In the Spring 2007 this website began using Drupal, an open source software package that allows us (both the global office and local Green Mapmakers) to publish, manage, and organize a wide variety of content in a more efficient manner. This new content management software is particularly handy for building online communities and is ideal for strengthening our global eco-cultural network.

    Note: Green Mapmakers who have logged in see some Mapmaker Only resources not visible to the public. Mapmakers can find details in the Tool Center’s Mapmaker Introduction.

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    Is there other way to search and sort information available on

    Some information at has "tags", which are similar to keyword or category labels. Tags help you find data with commonalities, which makes it easier to find similar Green Map projects, Mapmakers, and blogs. You can take advantage of this feature to find resources by category, language, etc. Generally, you will find the tags in bold text at the end of each post next to the submitter’s name.

    For example: At the top left, there’s a welcoming message in several languages. Each language links to all the resources on the website that have been "tagged" in that language.

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    What if I still have questions about Green Map System?

    If you have read through the About section and you still have questions, please check this website’s other FAQ about Green Mapmaking. Contact us with other questions, and we might add them to this FAQ for the benefit of others!

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    What is a Green Map®?

    A Green Map is a locally-made map that uses the universal Green Map® Icons to highlight the social, cultural, and sustainable resources of a particular geographic area. Since virtually all decisions about each Green Map are made locally by the Mapmakers in the community being charted, the mapmaking process and final products vary widely in terms of goals, content, and design. Some Green Maps focus only on beneficial natural and sustainability sites, while others include problems impacting community well-being, such as toxic hot spots and other sources of blight. Many Green Maps include narrative text, photos, and background information about the sites identified by the Icons. Printed, interactive, mural, and kiosk Green Maps can be thematic or connected to a specific event or season. Each map has its own unique style, validity, and audience, and many Green Mapmakers work in multiple formats over time, charting specific themes, piloting new concepts and continually creating compelling new perspectives on familiar places.

    Explore for great examples of Green Maps from your hometown and contact the Mapmakers directly about getting involved. If you can’t find your city/community/town on the list, consider starting your own Green Map project!

    Please note that this website is new as of May 2007. It will take a few months for our entire network to add their Green Map projects. Here is a list (files/citylist.pdf) of all 400 projects in 50 countries, current up to the website re-launch (some are no longer active, though).

    Find more about sustainable development below.

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    What is the Open Green Map?

    The Open Green Map is an interactive mapmaking tool that helps people worldwide quickly share their own selection of sustainability sites, pathways and resources online. Merging local knowledge and our freshly updated iconography with Google Map technology, the resulting interactive maps will soon be viewable from our own and many other websites. Even before its Fall 2008 public launch, this OGM website invites the public to add their own comments, green ratings, images and videos and share how each site on the map has impacted their life. With this social mapping website, people of all ages and backgrounds can get involved!

    Preview here the Open Green Map

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    What if I still have questions about Green Map System?

    If you have looked around the website and you still have questions, please check out the Website FAQ on the bottom bar of every page. Our staff will do our best to help you by email, too! Also, please let us know what else belongs on this FAQ page.

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    What is a RSS feed (signified by the orange icons within the text)?

    RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. RSS allows people to subscribe to a "feed" in order to receive constantly updated information from a web site, blog or specific web pages. RSS feeds are signified by the orange icons RSS under the text in the green box, along with tags and the ‘submitted by’ information.

    If you subscribe to an RSS feed, we recommend you use Google Reader to receive updates. This tool will monitor the pages for updates and add them to your reading list (it will be like your e-mail inbox but it is made just for 'feeds'). You don't need to install any software on your computer. Just create an account with Google and you will be able to access your feeds from any computer. Learn more here.

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    What is Bookmarking? has different options for storing, classifying, sharing and exploring web bookmarks through the use of social bookmarking web services. Using them helps attract new audiences to this website.

    Look for 'Bookmark This' on the lower left of each Profile.

    A Social Bookmarking network allows users to store lists of Internet resources. These lists can be accessed by users of a specific network or website (see them below). gives you the option to bookmark each Green Map project, thereby recommending them to, digg, reddit, ma.gnolia, newsvine, furl, Hugg, Yahoo, or technorati.

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    What is Drupal and Open Source?

    Drupal is a content management system (very flexible database for multiple users and formats of content) co-created and constantly improved by users around the world. It is the backbone of this website and it has allowed us to build in many innovative ways to view our maps and resources. Find out more at It’s free, and like most open source applications (user generated software content), it’s the evolving product of many minds. Find details on the Wikipedia.

    Green Map System was created with the same open source spirit, although the Green Map® Icons are copyrighted and the name Green Map is trademarked by Green Map System, Inc. We opted to protect our iconography and identity from potential misuse and "greenwashers."

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    What is Google Maps and how does it work?

    Google Maps is a free web-based mapping service application. It powers many map-based services including the Google Maps website and embedded maps on third-party websites using the Google Maps API. utilizes Google Maps to display all the Green Map projects at


    Google Maps offers three viewing modes by default: Map (Street map views), Satellite (satellite and high-resolution aerial photographs) and Hybrid (Street maps overlaid on satellite and high-resolution aerial photographs).

    Google Maps features a map that can be navigated by dragging the mouse, or scrolling to zoom in (scroll up) or out (scroll down) to show detailed street information.

    Alternatively you can use the control panel to navigate the embedded Google Maps on our website. The control panel is found on the left hand corner of each map. Use the arrows to navigate east, west, north, or south. To view the original map, click the center icon to refresh the map and restart your navigation. You can zoom in and out by clicking "+" or "-".

    Click here for more information.

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    Where can I find the GreenMap.orgs RSS feeds?

    Every time you see this orange icon RSS you can subscribe to the specific feed the icon refers to (updatable web page).

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    Which browser should I use?

    Any Browser on any PC, Mac, or Linux computer should work. Upgrade to the latest version of either Firefox or Safari if you are experience problems.

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