[drupal-devel] a mapping module for civicspace and drupal

Anselm Hook anselm at hook.org
Mon Jun 20 21:14:23 UTC 2005

Here is a first pass functional mapping module for civicspace and drupal
as demonstrated here:


Essentially if you were to install drupal and civicspace you could have a
location blogging site up and running quite easily now.  Are there any
other such services in the world at all right now?  I don't think so; so I
do believe (at least from our limited perspective) that this is something
that may be genuinely useful.

Here is the site for the download:


This is hot off the presses and undoubtably there are defects.  However it
is a milestone in our development work here and as is often said 'publish
early and publish often'.

Having reached this milestone I wanted to briefly summarize what the
deeper purpose of this was since it is not documented on the site:

  * Civicactions, myself and quite a few others are continuing to look for
ways to help energize real world community not just virtual community.
The challenge is that a lot of our urban landscapes are somewhat
mechanized.  They've scaled up to industrial proportions but we have not
equivalently developed an industrial scale voice.  Although possibly a
romantic view, there is the feeling that in earlier and smaller
communities it was much easier to inadvertently be a part of the social
knowledge commons of that community.  The hope here is that rich client
side mapping tools that are dispersed over many many servers (instead of
centralized) will help create a more true, richer and authentic voice than
what we get from the commercial mapping sites.

  * This work although free is actually quite expensive.  It is time
consuming and labourious to develop for very little financial gain.  At
the same time if somehow services like this could 'raise all ships' then
perhaps we might not have quite so much a need for money in our society.
Money is a substitute for awareness.  As local currencies show one
undervalued function of money is as a discovery tool or a catalyst.  If I
were better connected to my own physical neighbourhood I might be able to
message all my neighbours asking who could lend me a ladder, or a boat or
some such thing - rather than purchasing one or renting one.  Or
equivalently I might have a lot of free time on my hands and could
volunteer for some fun local neighborhood project if only my peers knew I
was interested.  For many people, especially in mobile urban societies, it
is hard to have that kind of groundedness and trust.  Tools that
accelerate that process, that show us our landscape, our peers, where our
friends are or have been, the knowledge that they shared...  well these
are all ideas that are out there and have been discussed quite a bit - bu
it still doesn't feel as if they have really been exercised.  So this is
more of the same in a sense; continuing to try to push out tools that help
get computers to come out and play with us, and help us in the real world,
instead of sucking us into a virtual contextually disjointed reality.  If
80 percent of human discusion involves space and location then 80 percent
of our tools should support this.

We definately appreciate feedback and even flames - post your thoughts on
the http://civicmaps.org site.  This process is driven by user feedback
and interest.  Continually in open source development one is trying to
pick the absolute best project and absolute best use of time that one can
possibly pursue.  Feedback on this particular project will dictate if it
gets more attention and time.

 - a

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