Define The Commons In The Map

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Some experiments for mapping the commons, from the definitions and brief descriptions of commoning actions or initiatives, with an instance of Chimere installed by Frédéric Léon at Brest. Chimere allows to place on a maps “points of interest” as defined by their geographic coordinates, text + multimedia documents (video , audio, images). Points of interest can be classified into categories organized by families. Maps are defined by selections of geographical zones and categories.


The first idea, starting this experiment was to locate on a map hundred of definitions of the commons made ​​since the Berlin Conference of 2010, and look at how to use this medium as a collective means of expression on the notion of commons. For the test, a douzen of definitions is placed on the map. The integration of all the hundreds of available definitions give more card provided. They are searchable by language. Sorting by tag does not exist. It is the next step we are chalenging. It will allow to make more visible the “issues” generated on the Remix The Commons website. The integration of this map in the site remix is done by widget in a blog post or page. Eventually, the card could be powered by mashup multimedia services.

Second experiment : mapping documents of commoning practices by category “types of commons” (only with the parents of the categories of Charlotte Hess’ classification, used on the web site Remix the Commons) . The maps can be made ​​by geographical areas. Here a map of a few points in Quebec .

Chimere freely allows the addition of new points of interest by users via a form pretty simple. Each zone provides to the users a form that allows to classify points of interest by the category of the zone.

At this level, it would be useful to complete chimere with elements such as a device of tags of points of interest, a synchronization of files on the map, a synchronization of the points of interest in the catalog of Remix the Commons.

But to go further, it should be necessary to work on approaches of mapping the commons. The identification of resources is the first degree of a mapping of the commons. Should imagine mapping commons based modes of administration of resources, or models of distribution of property rights, or value systems attached to commoning practices and certainly other things.

Frédéric Sultan