May 15, 2018

The story behind our mighty map 🌍

A reflection over the first 6 months of our own Precious Plastic Map.

Together with the launch of Version 3 we released one of our favourite features until now, the Precious Plastic Map. If you’re not on that yet, get your fingers rolling & sliding and join the movement. The map helps us to get a feeling of the global impact of the project and to gauge people’s interest around the world.


You’d think it should be easy to make a map in 2018, however, this was all but an easy job. The map had been in our heads ever since working on V2 where we actually implemented a map to count shares and overall reach. Unfortunately, that map broke within a few days from the launch for the huge number of requests to our servers, that naturally crushed (thank you 👊). And big up the guys at Dumpark helping us in that occasion.


Developing a map
The map took us 2 weeks to design and over six months to develop – guess we’re very demanding peeps 🤓. The map was developed open source by many developers from around the world interchanging their knowledge and skills. Oh, and the whole map was developed for free- these heroes dedicated their evenings and weekends to bring you this fantastic map. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank every single one of them working on the map with a special mention to @nzchicken and Bex that brought the project to completion and are currently supporting us with each update.


Open Street Map – Sorry Google 🤘
We launched the map in October using Google Maps running in the background. The easiest way to build it. However, we’re not particularly fond of big eat-everything monopolies. We like diversity. So we asked @nzchicken to do us a little present and switch to Open Street Map, the awesome open source alternative. Last week we updated our map so now each time you open our map you don’t make Google richer and stronger. For what it matters


Just numbers
We are quite happy with the response from the community and people around the world. To date, we have over 7009 pins, 213 of which are workspaces (we know there are way more out there, don’t be shy 😊), over 400 machine builders ready to help people build machines and some 6400 people that want to get started and intend to do something about the problem of plastic pollution.


Collaboration 🤝
We launched the map for one major reason, help local collaboration. We see collaboration between Sapiens as the only way out of this mess. We caused it, we can fix it. But we have to work together. Meet, talk, discuss, boycott, sign petitions, demand change, occupy and generally make yourself heard. There are thousands more like you that want to fix this mess. Join forces and make yourself count.


Hard to track
We do know that the map has already been a great tool for collaboration around the planet for hundreds of people. But we struggle to track each connection made. We would love to hear your feedback from your experience, the kind of connections you made, people you met, projects you started, etc.. If we learn from your experience we can try to make the map better and more useful for all of you out there ready to take the matter in your hands.


Next steps 🐢
We have now gathered thousands of people globally ready to take actions. Not everyone wants or should make machines and melt plastic. There are other super important actions that could be made in every city around the world that could fit different people with different skillset. We want to make a series of “plan to action” for people to use and organise actions (“how to boycott your local supermarket”, “how to get your neighbour use less plastic”, etc.. ). Anyone in the community with more ideas or experience on this?


Ambassadors 🏅
We’re also flirting with the idea of giving people the opportunity to become Precious Plastic Ambassadors to, amongst others, push the map on a local level to get even more people on board until we reach considerable numbers. Numbers that matter. 6K is little compared to 7billions. We need more. But need help from our community. From you. Ready to help? Come forward. Comment below if you have experience on this or you want to become an ambassador.


Oh.. and if you made it this far you might as well click that little heart icon ❤ and leave comments to start a useful discussion 🙏