Two maps and the onward-march of transparency

Sensemaking / Two maps and the onward-march of transparency

Two ways the French are using maps to exchange information with citizens, highlighting issues of public interest.

By Geraldine Gilbert / 09 Mar 2017

How might public authorities embrace efforts to gather and share information? How might they use this trend to drive positive outcomes for society? And what about the private sector? How can it help make the most of efforts to engage, mobilise and empower citizens? 

A map is a great starting point: it gives people the opportunity to be heard, to flag a local problem, and to visualise that problem in a bigger context.

Here are two examples of organisations building maps into a wider process that can then help address some key social issues.

1. Transparency International France has created a map to log corruption convictions around the country. It scans for, and verifies, publicly available information and court announcements, and then uploads incidences to the map - as well as having an open database with all the details. Most cases are about misuse of public funds, but private cases are also included.

To find out more:


// Access the full map: 

2. Generations Futures is working to drive action on the irresponsible or illegal use of pesticides, and has created a map visualising dodgy pesticide use (e.g. farmers spraying fields where/when they shouldn't) around the country. It collects, verifies and logs incidences of misuse from a range of sources, including from residents as well as organisations keeping an eye out. It's part of a wider initiative to coordinate action on pesticides and represent victims of misuse, working together with organisations all over the country to highlight the issues. 

To find out more:   

// Access the full map:

What might the implications of this be? What related articles have you seen?

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