Posts Tagged ‘community mapping’

Avatar 3D, an ancient phenomenon on Vancouver Island.

July 28, 2010 1 comment

See the world we come from: there’s no green there. They’ve killed their mother, and they’re going to do the same thing here. ~ Jake Sully (Avatar, 2009).   

The environmental commentary on our civilization from the blockbuster movie ‘Avatar’ is hard to ignore. The lush forests and natural wonders of Pandora are are not altogether different from those of our planet that remain following massive changes to the landscape from human intervention. In an attempt to associate the awe-inspiring scenery of Pandora to our world, the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) organization based in British Columbia has named an old growth forest in Vancouver Island ‘Avatar Grove.’

Dubbed one of the 'gnarliest' Old Growth trees in Avatar Grove. Photo credit: TJ Watt.

Avatar Grove has been approved for logging, prompting a campaign from local groups including AFA and VIC FAN (Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network). So far the campaign has entailed walks to the location fo the public and media, a protest in downtown Vancouver,  and a photography contest on facebook calling for pictures of the biggest stumps in the area.

VIC FAN has launched a  Wild Coast Mapping Project to map the southwest coast of Vancouver Island from Sooke to Port Renfrew. Data has been collected from observations and local knowledge of students and Island residents making the project a community mapping exercise. VIC FAN’s next community event is a ‘Wild-Coast campout and eco-survey’ that will take place from July 31st to August 2nd. The organization hopes engage community volunteers to document ecologically-sensitive karst in Avatar Grove that would provide a compelling case for the province to protect it from logging.



To learn more about VIC FAN’s Wild Coast Mapping Project and how you can get involved, click here.

Sana Razvi, Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

The Tale that the River Told.

July 26, 2010 Leave a comment

‘The River’s Tale’ is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling almost a century ago in colonial India. Kipling believed that should a River be granted the ability to speak, it would tell a story of its travels, similar to the one in his poem. Although no River has been granted such an ability,  people have taken it upon themselves to tell its story and guide others to explore its path. The Mississippi River is a prime example. 

The Mississippi River Trail consists of 3,000 miles of bikeways (both on-road and off-road) and pedestrian pathways that follow the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mappler® community mapping tool  was utilized to create accessible interactive maps of the Trail. What began as a test project to map 3 urban areas (Twin Cities, St.Louis, and New Orleans) unfolded as an extensive project to map the enitre corridor.  Trail users can now access maps on mobile devices to guide their course along the river and read about sites of interest with a single click.

To view the interactive maps of the Mississippi River Trail and learn more about the project, click here.

Sana Razvi, Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Deals Too Good to Map…

March 26, 2009 Leave a comment


Have you spent countless hours looking for an affordable deal on a quick getaway?  With many people now looking to save money rather than spend money on a vacation, many airlines, hotels, and resorts are slashing prices in order to encourage people to continue to travel and explore during these times of economic uncertainty.  The interactive map, Flee Market, is an online tool where fellow travelers can advertise and map various discount, deals, and locations for the family still looking to go on a vacation this summer.  

To read more about this site, click here.  Or to view the map or find your own vacation deal, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping Towns as We Know Them…

March 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Residents of Cowichan County, Canada got together to last month to map what they perceived to be important assets of their community.  Such things as historic landmarks, cycling trails, and even environmental sites that are being neglected were mapped.  The event allowed the citizens of Cowichan County to learn more about their environment and where they live, where their food comes from, and where their children and their children’s children may grow up.  The event turned into more of a social gathering rather than a social experiment which helped increase the number of residents that came to the event.  

For more information about the Cowichan County effort, click here

Mapping the True Identity…

March 12, 2009 Leave a comment

National Geographic is taking nominations for a geotourism mapping initiative where travelers can nominate places for a interactive maps that are due to debut in September.  The idea of interactive geotourism allows the community and off the beaten travelers themselves identify and geotag often overlooked tourist spots.  The main focus is to identify places that emphasize the character, environment, heritage, culture, and aesthetics of a place.  Places of local importance that may be of importance to a traveler who is looking to get in tune with the local culture is what National Geographic hopes to put on stage.

For more information about the project, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

Beware: Mapping is Contagious!

March 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Crime mapping is sweeping the nation with so many communities looking towards mapping crimes to keep the public informed and the city safe.  Since the inception of CrimeView Community, as many as 40 states and hundreds of communities have taken the initiative to map the crime that occurs in their towns.  The ability to give residents information about the safety of their town allows them to make more conscious and safer decisions and also permits the police force to recognize crime-prone areas and to handle these areas accordingly.

To read more about the spread of crime mapping, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping and Development…

March 10, 2009 Leave a comment

The county government of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania has decided to invest in the mapping of the Allegheny River Trail.  A 32-mile stretch of land that encompasses 18 municipalities will be able to reap the benefits of the map by haing the interactive map detail the individualized ownership of the trail, various economic opportunities along the trail, and identifying the trail land characteristics.  The map itself will also connect with other interactive maps that have already been constructed regarding other parks and trails in the area.  The mapping of the trail and the adjacent communities will provide a level of information never before seen or difficult to obtain that will allow development in these areas to be much more accessible.

To read more about the Allegheny County efforts, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

The Externalities of Mapping…

March 3, 2009 Leave a comment


The Economic Development department and GIS/Technology department of Frederick County, Maryland have joined forces to map out the major business parks and retails centers located in their county.  While it is advantageous to have this information for their personal use, the main focus of the map is too provide valuable information to possible businesses looking to do business in their area.  The ability for businesses to have access to valuable information regarding zoning, lot sizes, and availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week will give Frederick County the leading edge against its neighboring counties when trying to lure businesses in.  The county hopes to provide an easy and seamless transition for any businesses looking to expand or relocate to the Frederick County area through its new and innovative interactive map.

For more information about the initiatives of Frederick County, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

Mapping the History of a Town…

March 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Folks in a village  in the province of the Northwest Territories in Canada have assembled to map the rich history and heritage on their map.  Three young men are planning to map such things as important fishing sites, hunting sites, and areas of spiritual importance.  The three have also begun interviewing all the residents of the village to collect data for the map and have also started a family tree to complement the historical value of the map they hope to create.  The map and display will go up in a nearby community center so that the residents can view the progress and the history of their village and so that other villages can see what community mapping can do to bring a community closer together.

To read more about this project, click here

Kenneth E. Liwag; Rutgers University Planning Intern; VERTICES, LLC.

In an emergency?! Mapping can help…

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

The local government of Franklin County, Ohio has been hard at work pinpointing every single important detail of their county on a map including individual building in a complex, fire hydrants, and bus routes.  Why all the trouble, you ask?  This initiative, set to debut this summer, is supposed to aid ambulances and fire trucks in locating and getting where they need to go to in the least amount of time.  They believe the county characteristics on a map will help aid them in this goal.  This initiative will not only aid EMTs or firefighters but the county government will also be able to use the map and will assist them in calculating such things as how much salt is required during snow storms or planning new routes for the bus system.

For more information about the initiatives of Franklin County, read here

Kenneth E. Liwag, Rutgers University Planning Intern, VERTICES, LLC.