Cartography has been always one of the prime tools for control and domination, because of his apparent truthfulness, like media. Those who make a map also decide where the borders lay, what is the name of everything, how to represent other countries, or their own (bigger, greenier), etc.

For this very same reason, cartography has also been used as an activist tool, way before Google Maps was invented, but the recent trend in mapping and data visualization has meant an increment in the use of cartography as a mean to represent reality from a radical stance.

Surveillance camera maps and other countless mashups of economic and geographic data are now joined by Sourcemap. The project taps into the local consumption angle and sustainability that we have covered here before, and wants to show in a map the supply chain for a given product, calculating the carbon footprint of producing and delivering that product.

Sourcemap is a platform that enables users to contribute to and share ideas about sustainability. Whether you are inviting people to an event, buying ingredients for a recipe, or designing a product, your choices have a significant impact. Some decisions have impacts that stretch across the world, whereas others are entirely regional. Understanding the reach of our actions and facilitating positive change is fundamental to improving economic, social, and environmental conditions.

Sourcemap, sponsored by the MIT Medialab is looking for volunteers.

Production Projects & Ideas

Local Food Systems

There has been a lot of debate lately on the issue of regenerating local economies and production, instead of relying on globalized, delocalized products. This has even spawned new social consuming trends, like the localvores, people committed to consume only locally produced food. Farmers also are eager to revitalize local production, consumption and networks, to strengthen their economy, reduce their carbon-footprint and depend on less mediators to reach consumers.

Local Food Systems is one of this networks, located mainly in the american states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. They state:

  1. We have the people, land and climate needed to produce fresh, affordable, and healthy food.
  2. Our growing community of producers and consumers can create strong local food systems, reduce use of fossil fuels, and create businesses and jobs.
  3. Vibrant local and regional agriculture generates wealth in communities, establishes healthy environments for families, and enhances quality of life for all.