Collaborative Mapping

Collaborative mapping is the aggregation of web maps and user-generated content, from a group of individuals or entities, and can take several distinct forms.[1] As with traditional maps, collaborative maps include various feature types including points, lines and polygons. A digital platform allows for a greater degree of interactivity with maps features, as well as, the ability to access and share spatial information with map viewers and editors in multiple locations.

Within geographic feature types additional data such as latitude and longitude, elevation, area, perimeter length, data acquired, and any additional observed or annotated data can be stored. To add new features or data to the collaborative map, a user must be added as an editor. To view the map without editing privileges requires that the map be publically posted or be unrestricted.

Collaborative maps are used as a tool for communicating location-based information and can be a platform for discussing spatially-related issues and ideas. Mapmaking collaborators may discover that they see the world and the features in it very similarly or differently when working together. The output of a collaborative map offers information on how each of us views the world, what information and data we can offer about locations, and through visual or simple geographic analysis, what opportunities for new information exist.

Practice this tool: Practice collaborative mapping with Google MyMaps
Take action with this tool: Create a plan and take action to create a collaborative map

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