Public Lab Research note

Gowanus brainstorm on annotated maps

by liz | February 07, 2013 21:59 | 65 views | 0 comments | #5917 | 65 views | 0 comments | #5917 07 Feb 21:59

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Organizer Gena Wirth shows her large format print Exercise on feature design for annotated maps: I WANT a static presentation map SO THAT i can easily print & show to people who visit the canal

I WANT to add annotation SO THAT i can tell this story

I WANT control over the annotation SO THAT random people don't add crap to our map

I WANT a slider bar for historical imagery SO THAT i can show what we've done to improve this site

I WANT it to be clear and beautiful SO THAT people aren't overwhelmed with this information

Related to sub-project of plant census I WANT a complete inventory in the Gowanus plant census SO THAT i can track change over time

I WANT a shareable plant census SO THAT the public can have access to it, and users can begin to extrapolate other information from it, such as biomass, biodiversity, associated animals

I WANT to display the chemical contents of these plants SO THAT we can understand the ecology of the Gowanus

I WANT to be able to zoom into each plant and see photos SO THAT we can seamlessly view environmental information

I WANT great search engine results for phrases like "plants of the gowanus" SO THAT people can encounter this project as many ways as possible

What has been built in the Public Lab prototype so far? (v01)...

What are possible planned additions: (v02)...

  • Categories, color-coding by category
  • Legends with category filter
  • The owner of the map can "lock" it in mapknitter as a presentation map
  • MapKnitter annotations and interactivity preserved in archive - (geoJSON export, readable by plots2 Archive)


  • Options for geometry like squares, circles
  • Line styles, line weight, line color, opacity
  • point icons like "the pointing hand"
  • Mobile page at has prompt for annotations based on smartphone GPS location
  • Downloadable annotations (see v02 above)

What are other feature ideas by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy?

  • Ability to upload all points from other data collection initiatives all at once from a spreadsheet or a shapefile
    • for instance, points collected by a device, or sensor data in CSV
  • Ability to overlay other geographic data like tree canopy layers
    • Use existing platforms like mapbox (?) for their existing feature set for drawing (?)


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