Vision building for a Map of Community Networks

There is shared interest to map the community network environment in different parts of the world. The research of the LOCNET team to identify suitable technologies to realize such an interactive map, made us aware of work and research in progress. This is why we would like to invite you to a common brainstorming to learn more about (1) the goals of such a map, (2) the technoligical options at hand and (3) your interest to participate in an eventual co-construction of such a map.

Our proposal would be to document our ideas, comments and suggestions here and then organize a an online meeting in early September to discuss the results and further steps.

Thanks a lot in advance for you participation!

1. Open questions and goals

1.1. Open questions

What is the objective and who is the audience? - Are we trying to blow people away with all the dots on a map of the world to show how many there are? - Just make it easy to find visually those in a particular country?

What does a map add to our work?

What harm could it do, if any?

What resources will it require?

1.2. Goals seen from an individual CN perspective

  • Contribute to the CN visibility as part of the global CN environment
  • Share key information / story (pop up window) about the CN and the way it works
  • Create an access point (through the map) to an individual CN profile page

1.3. Goals seen through the CN environment lense

  • Visualisation of the extent of the CN movement around the world
  • Identify countries/regions/localities which are 'hotspots' for CNs, and where the 'blanks' are…
  • Identify where there are active meso orgs that CNs can go to for support
  • Layer of different technologies used
  • The spread of CNs over time (assuming time was a variable included in the mapping mechanism

2. Options

So far we have tried to identify different tech options used or under development. The idea of the following section is to share pros/cons that we see for all involved technologies to create a common baseline for follow up discussions

Build on Cocomap by Article19

Source: Cocomap


  • Open Source


Adapt Libertura map for CRs to CNs and create/maintain a Wordpress Plugin

Source: Liberatura Map


  • Similar approach for community radios that could be drawn on
  • Open Source


  • Requires a maintenance strategy

MapSVG and Wordpress

Source: MapSVG


  • Geo-located database in CSV format can be imported/exported from MapSVG allowing for independent editing of a data source on Github or similar.
  • Very quick development time as MapSVG has many features well-suited to a CN map.
  • Using an SVG map allows for speedy loading, lower data consumption, and local/offline use potentially. It also offers a potential layer of imprecision allowing CNs to be identified in a country without having to offer the precise geo-location.


  • Not Open Source
  • Operating in WordPress is not ideal if the the goal is to have all CNs update their own information on the map. The CSV database import/export option combined with Github could mitigate this somewhat.

Discourse with Location Plugin

Source: Discourse and Location Plugin


  • Open Source


Adapt Guifinet or Ninux maps to CNs more generally

Source: Guifinet Ninux


  • Open Source


3. Collaboration

All technological options discussed before have different implications. However, there will definitely be an overall need for the maintenance of chosen or developed plugins, as well as the updating and continued modification of data bases. The following bulleted list is meant to lay out some key activities (please complete if something is missing) and we would like to invite you to indicate where you could imagine to contribute.

  • Design of the overall approach
  • Adaption / coding of map plug-in
  • Development of categories for layers and key information of CNs
  • Compilation of data bases
  • Maintenance of map plugin
  • Updating of data bases

[✓ stevetest, 2020-08-19]test data add for new account