Used by planners across the US

WikiMapping an engaged community

A poster shared by Peter Robie at Toole Design Group, courtesy of the City of Cambridge, MA.

Last week we helped to put together and host a public open house for the Cambridge Bike Plan. One part of it was highlighting public input, so I wanted to share the posters that we made regarding the WikiMapping data that was collected. Public input is an extremely important part of this plan (as it is with most), so needless to say WikiMapping has been a great tool for collecting, organizing, and visualizing the thoughts of a very engaged and interested community.

 The “WikiMap Action Items” are a direct result of comments that folks made – the city was able to implement some pratical ideas while the WikiMap was still up – how’s that for real time data collection? The heat maps on the bottom of the “WikiMap Comments” poster helped us to identify popular bike routes that we didn’t previously know about and incorporate them as priority streets in the resulting bike network plan. All in all, the WikiMap has been a large and indispensable piece of the project – it really took things in a direction that we couldn’t have gone otherwise.

Other ways to use WikiMapping

Database Management


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Crowdsource Updates – Bike shops come and go, and it can be challenging to keep things updated.  With WikiMapping, you can let them.

To make a change – A visitor can register with his or her email and add a new shop.  Alternatively, he or she can comment on an existing shop.

How you benefit – As a project administrator, you become the content moderator, not just the provider. Get an optional alert email each time someone makes a change to the database.


Public input - Validated


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Getting routes – As a planner, you not only need origin destination data, you may also need to know routes and barriers.

People add comments – With this survey, people can draw lines and add points on a custom base map.

People validate comments – People can view comments made by others, and they can add their own comments.

It’s like being at a public meeting and having people show you what they care about.

Public input - Closed Survey


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Survey on a Map – A survey question pops up when a line or point is added to the map.

Private results – People can’t see comments from others.

Three kinds of surveys – Surveys are attached to the Welcome message, Line, and Point.  

You have choices in how you set up a project.  As part of a survey, people can even upload files.

Field research on your phone


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Save Time in the field – Take photos with your mobile phone and upload them to the map.  No app required.

Import tracks –  If you want to track your route with an app such as MotionXGPS, you can then import the routes into your project.

How we use this – We take photos with our mobile devices and upload them from a desktop.  Then we have data that we can refer to when making maps.


Custom turn-by-turn routing


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Different from google or Mapquest – People can get your custom turn by turn directions to say anything you want.  And they can print them out.

Add more precise directions – “Turn right onto the sidewalk to cross the bridge.”

Give people a self-guided tour  -Visitors can create directions between any two points on your custom route.  This data can be made audible via an iOS or android app, which our Map Team can customize.

Tested – Cyclists used WikiMapping for navigating from Florida to Maine this summer.


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