MapTime Oakland


MapTime Oakland

MapTime is a global community of mapmaking enthusiasts, and I’ve been wrangling the Oakland chapter for the past few months.

We currently meet twice a month. One (second Thursdays) is a more formal skillshare at a coworking space around some selected topic – mobile data collection, geocoding, cartography. The other (third Tuesdays) is a more informal open hack “Speakeasy,” where people meet up at a beer garden to discuss their ongoing projects.

I’m impressed by the outpouring of demand for social geospatial activities. Over 30 people showed up in October to learn about mobile data collection – that’s crazy. My next goal is to somehow pivot this enthusiasm into an army of social justice-minded volunteer mappers. But that’s for 2016.

Looking back on 2015, my favorite event by far was our cartography skill share. It was a great chance to blend my work with Guerrilla Cartography (the subject of a future blog post). I brought a copy of Food: An Atlas, and we formed an informal critique. It’s my firm belief that people are more artistically astute than they give themselves credit. We know when something feels right, or doesn’t quite, and in a good space, we can help each other articulate why.

Later, I turned our conclusions into a post on MapTime Oakland’s Tumblr. More than 40 people contributed at this meet up, and I hope to return to this topic and iterate on this document next year.

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