Exciting News!

July 18, 2013 CommonSpark Uncategorized

The initial collection of commons maps, threat maps, datasets, and tools for creating data visualizations are now available on the CommonSpark website. The pages can be accessed by the sub-menus of “The Commons Atlas” tab.

Since we are still in the early stages of development, we are using a broad brush in defining both “map” and “commons”.  “Map” implies a wide variety of data visualizations, including but not limited to geospatial maps, timelines, network maps, mindmaps, and infographics. The Commons Atlas will have it’s own website eventually, but we plan to share significant pieces as they are developed to encourage feedback, conversation and collaboration.

Our commons maps are “in the spirit of the commons”, meaning they are somehow related to the commons. We include maps of existing commons that already manifest the community + resource + management processes that a fully developed commons implies. We also include maps related to what David Bollier refers to as “aspirational commons”, things that we know deep in our hearts should be shared, like water and air, but are not yet managed as commons. Discussions about how to sort the commons maps are ongoing and the linear method we use here will evolve to represent the reality of the interconnected commons ecosystems.

The threat maps represent specific threats to the commons ecosystem. Current categorization is by primary threat. Like the commons maps, the linear listings don’t begin to address the interconnectivity inherent in these threats. For example, Fraktracker’s US Pipeline Incidents 2011 – early 2013 map is listed under climate change, oil and gas industry and pollution. What isn’t seen yet is how these pipeline incidents affect a wide variety of commons including water, air, health, biodiversity, climate, cultural, indigenous peoples, food, economy, public safety and more. The pipeline threat doesn’t exist in isolation and it doesn’t threaten just one type of commons. The threats are systemic. In addition to climate change, pipeline incidents are related to biodiversity loss, harm to indigenous cultures, racism, socioeconomic inequality, resource grabs, resource depletion, and capitalism.

You can expect us to connect the dots soon.

We hope our two other new collections, data visualization tools and datasets, will empower you to get creative and make your own maps, infographics and memes. We will provide space soon for you to upload your creations, but for now, we’re happy to add your maps to our link library and share them on Twitter and Facebook.

We encourage everyone to submit maps, tools and datasets by using the simple form at the bottom of each page.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

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