Skip to main content

Welcome to MapTogether!

Maps tell powerful stories about the communities and the world in which we live.  Maps are a visualization tool, a way to help us transform columns of data into useful knowledge about the people and places around us. 

The MapTogether project provides free map-related training and tools for community and nonprofit groups around the world.  Our resources include  software, data sets, online mapping services, documentation, and training resources.  In addition, our geographers provide free in-person "community mapping clinics" in cities across the United States and Canada.

Monday Mapping Meetup (free!)

Mon, 2011-09-19

The first ever Monday Mapping Meetup will be held at 9am on Monday, September 19th, at the Map Room in Chicago!  This is a free informal and coffee-laced gathering for NPO and community group staff interested in learning more about community mapmaking.  We'll look at free and user-friendly tools and data sources - like Google Maps, US Census Datasets, and GeoCommons - that other groups are using to build powerful online "mapplications" in their neighborhoods and cities.  Bring a laptop (optional) and your map-related questions and ideas!

Although this event is free, we're asking all attendees to buy a coffee, juice, and/or bagel to thank the Map Room for graciously hosting our meetup!  Map Room is a short walk east of the Armitage Blue Line stop; bike parking is available.  Questions?  Contact us.


Gerrymandering - creating the maps of politics

With the 2010 Census behind us, political districts of all levels across the United States are being redrawn.  Gerrymandering - the process of creating political districts to give extra power or take away power from a certain group of people, usually on the basis of race or class - has been going on in the United States since our earliest history.  The Economist recently published a nice overview article of the history and challenges of drawing fair political maps.  We've also looked before at the Illinois Fair Map Amendment and its impact on political districting here in Illinois.

Mapnificent - How Far Can You Get In An Hour?

Mapnificent is a mapping application that shows how far you can go from a certain point in a certain time using public transit.  For example, you can enter your workplace location and see everywhere in your city that you could live to ensure a maximum 30 minute commute to work.  Or, you could find every park within a 20-minute transit ride from your house.  

Because it depends on public transit data encoded using Google's open data standard for transit info, the Transit Feed Specification, it's only available for certain cities.  It's a follow-up to the Mapumental site, a UK version which has been in closed beta for quite a while.  You can learn more about the technology behind Mapnificent in a blog article by the creator.



Mapping sandboxes: Ushahidi, Drupal+OpenLayers, GoogleMaps

We test a lot of mapping-related tools, services, and platforms that nonprofits and community groups might find useful.  Our current sandboxes include:

STATS America

stats america shotSTATS America is a data portal where visitors can get demographic, workforce, housing, and other data for every state, county, and metro area in the United States.  The site is jointly sponsored by the US Commerce Department and Indiana University.