Sunday, March 20, 2011

Green maps. Who knew?

“Victoria is the epicenter of green mapping in North America,” said Wendy Brawer, the New York-based founder of the Green Map System, at the University of Victoria last week.

She cited the dozen or so green maps of our region, which range from a teacher’s artistic rendering of the land, food and people of Vic West to the Shelbourne Corridor’s community-planning chart.

Along with a unique style, each map has its own theme or target users. Children, perhaps, or tourists. In one city, a group of binners created a map of local sources.

One of the beauties of the Green Map System is its use of universal symbols. Anyone can find a farmer’s market, for example, whether she’s shopping in Singapore, Stockholm or Santa Monica. The system is flexible, though, so mappers can customize or add symbols that express their communities’ special attributes. Like Victoria’s two dozen contributions to the icon collection include skateboards and osprey.

How cool is that?

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