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MetaMap | 6000 km by Basurama, interview with Pablo Rey

Category: ⚐ EN+city+internet+Intervista+landscape+MetaMap+urbanism

Basurama is a forum for discussion and reflection on trash, waste, and reuse in all its formats and possible meanings. It was born in the Madrid School of Architecture (ETSAM) in 2001, and since then, has evolved and acquired new shapes.

Tire Cemetery in Seseña (Toledo)

I interviewed Pablo Rey Mazón, member of Basurama, about 6000km, a project about the concept of trash applied to new constructions and land use, the metabolism of the city.


1. How did you get to the practice of mapping? What led you to the practice of mapping?

We use mapping, a geo-spatial representation of things, to understand and display complex situations. Maps have always been interesting to me: subway maps, the Callejero (the streetmap book from Madrid), and later in architecture school, I was using and producing maps quite often. Google Maps and Google Earth came later…. maps are one special part of all the data visualizations tools available.
I have also participated in the development of, an open source software for collective geo-location of information (texts, photos, videos, and audio) online, that we have used in many projects.

Interface of the map - Click to see original at Meipi

Interface of the map – Click to see original at Meipi

2. How did you choose the object of your mapping?

A map is a tool to decode certain information. Depending on the project, we would use one visualization or another. When we’re interested in the location of things, we use maps. In Basurama, we’ve used maps for many different projects apart from 6000km:

-Mapping urban metabolism landscapes (panorama photos) + real estate bubble: map, tactics in 6000km

-Mapping reusable waste in Ruhr (Germany) map 1map 2how to

Flow of waste in Mexico City

Exchange of objects map

In Ruhr, we used geo-located photos that we took, and a special instance of Meipi, to show the location of possible reusable waste. In, we tried to give the opportunity to exchange an object by providing information about where the object was.

6000km started as an exhibition of 10 big format panorama photos from the Madrid outskirts: landfills, highways, scrapyards, and abandoned places. The project was part of the exhibition and was named Basurama Panorámica. It shows the public different places to envision the consequences of the urban expansion that was occurring at the time. Each photo had a short text attached to it, that served to contextualize and give basic information about it. We didn’t just want ‘awesome’ photos, we wanted to make people understand where and what those locations were. The exhibition had two related maps: urban growth and highways, apart from a location map of all the photographs. Displaying urban developments together with landfills and empty toll highways was the way to show the relation among all the urban metabolism related situations. Empty buildings made for speculation purposes where as waste made for scrapyards. That was 2006, 2 years before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.

Later on, when we addressed this project in a country scale we studied and mapped all the situations in “6.000 km” were the kilometers of highway that the government was planning to build until 2020.

Mar Menor Golf Resort – Torre Pacheco, Murcia

3. In which way do you want this work to affect the people and society?

It is difficult to say how a particular project modifies the perception of a situation. In 2006 the real estate bubble was about to burst, but the public perception was saying “prices are never going to drop”, “we are the biggest growing economy in the world”, “keep building, buying, and selling, make money”. Mass media and politicians were basically denying the real estate bubble or saying that the process of land destruction was not sustainable. It was uncommon to address this topic. Nowadays, we can watch and read multiple news, documentaries, and exhibitions about a contemporary ruin or the economic crisis, but that was not the case back in 2006. It is impossible to measure that impact.

However, we were not alone in this task. There were other people talking about these issues as well. An example, El tsunami urbanizador español y mundial from the late Ramón Fernández Durán, or Ramón López de Lucio, that used our exhibition, among other things, to talk about the urban expansion and the backdrops of the star system architecture.  A year later, the Observatorio Metropolitano published a complete study of Madrid that delved deeply in the economical, social, and urban aspect of the situation. Madrid ¿La suma de todos? Globalización, territorio, desigualdad, and Derivart published

Junkyard Hermanos Lopez – Parla, Madrid

4. Which is the next phase of growth/development your research is undergoing?

We went from the regional scale, Madrid conurbation, to a country scale, Spain, in 6.000km. We created an online map at to display how our research evolved and to open both the information and participation to the public. We went to many of those places to document the sites. We have a full list available of all the studied locations, as we have realized before in Meipi, that maps are not the only way to show spatial information, and that lists can also be very useful.
Global scale: Since we’ve been travelling often to America with Basurama in the last years, we are now exploring ways to talk about these situations on a global scale in PAN AM, Panorama Americana.

Ruins in Vallecas, Madrid  - Click to view original map

Ruins in Vallecas, Madrid – Click to view original map

Photos from the sky: We are also exploring new ways of exploring the territory with cheap balloon mapping technology. Our first results from Spain could be seen in the ruins at PAU del ensanche de Vallecas. Since last year we’ve been collaborating with the Public Laboratory in Boston, where we are mapping the evolution of an ash landfill in the suburbs of the city, Incinerator Landfill in Saugus, MA, USA, as well as mapping the waste locations from Cambridge, MA.
Civic maps: I am involved in a tool kit about civic mapping that will be released this year by the Center for Civic Media.

Alto del Cuco – Pielagos, Cantabria

5. What are your personal references for the theme of mapping (from ancient to contemporary ones)?

References come from many places: data visualization researchers like Edward Tufte; open hardware and cheap tools by Public Laboratory; Ushahidi and Crowdmap for collective info about maps; for collective reporting from cheap phones; and online cartography tools like OpenStreetMap, where we are contributors and try to draw landfills and other non represented places in the map.

All the photos of the article are under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License and are made by Rubén Lorenzo Montero and Pablo Rey Mazón (Basurama). See legal notice.

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MetaMap | Domenico Di Siena about Meipi

Category: ⚐ EN+⚐ IT+architecture+internet+Intervista+MetaMap+technologies+video

As part of the MetaMap series, I interviewed Domenico Di Siena, former curator of this blog, about a project he founded in 2007, Meipi, which is a collaborative space where users can upload information and content around a map. […] is being used by communities, advocacy groups, journalists, artistic collectives, and urban planners to geo-tag information around a topic in a specific region. […]  Meipi is a community of developers, designers, and planners that have built and maintained since 2007. Since the software became open source in 2010, an entire community has contributed with its work and support.

Here you can find some examples of different visualizations of maps currently on the platform:

Multimedia field map of Dowtown Los Angeles


Map of “Corralas” in Madrid

Map of small shops in the Salamanca District


Meip-it Coordinators: Pablo Rey Mazón (Visiting Scientist, Center for Civic Media, MIT) and Alfonso Sánchez Uzábal (Developer and Researcher at Montera34)  Meipi developers, Pablo and Alfonso, both collaborate with the core developers from Guillermo Álvaro Rey and Jorge Álvaro Rey from Lamboratory, Domenico Di Siena, @urbanohumano, and Francesco Cingoliani, @immaginoteca.


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MetaMap | [im]possible living, rethinking the abandoned world

Category: ⚐ EN+city+internet+Intervista+MetaMap+technologies+urbanism

[im]possible living is a crowd-sourcing website dedicated to mapping and reactivating abandoned buildings around the world.

[im]possible living wants to be an enabler and a catalyst of the energies available in every place in the world that are not able to get through and give birth due to the abandonment market and, in general, to a new housing development model. It’s a very ambitious goal, but we truly believe in it and are investing everything in this dream!

I interviewed the two founders, Daniela Galvani and Andrea Sesta, about the project.

[im]possible living

1. How did you get to the practice of mapping? 

[im]possible living is born from our personal interest in abandoned buildings. At the time we understood that many individuals and associations were spreading energies to map the abandoned buildings in their area, but everyone was doing their own maps, thus losing the possibility of sharing results, experiences, and the best possible practices.

So we decided to create a global map of abandoned buildings via a web platform, where everyone could participate and contribute to a common goal and benefit from the experiences of other people.
Since the beginning of the project we have gone far beyond mapping tools. With the last release of our site, people can now reactivate an abandoned building and involve the community in the design concept for the new life of the building.

2. How is the users’ contribution managed? How does the platform work?

The website consists of a service through which users can surf and see the abandoned buildings that have been mapped around the world, which also shows their profile, containing a general description and some detailed information about the building (year of construction, years of abandonment, square meters, number of floors, etc.) To explore the mapped buildings click here.

The real heart of the service, however, is the reporting and collaboration features, through which users can upload new abandoned buildings and enrich existing records by adding photos and videos. If you would like to begin a map click here.

Users can also use a mobile app for the iPhone to instantly map abandoned buildings. Once launched, the application allows you to choose a photo from the Pictures archive, add essential information and automatically provide the geographic data associated with the location (street, city, etc.), allowing the user to change any incorrect information.

The last new part, which has launched recently, allows users to start a reactivation process. Once an abandoned building is mapped, a user can decide to become the reactivator of the place and [im]possible living provides him/her with a suit of services that helps collect the needs of the area, ideas for the future of the building, and in general, create a community that supports the reactivator in designing a concept for the new life of the building. The platform also tries to connect different kinds of users, everyone possibly involved in the renovation process: citizens, entrepreneurs, professionals, artists, real estate developers, etc.

[im]possible living map

[im]possible living map

These services are now online and we already have some projects running that you can contribute to or simply surf to get an idea:

Padiglione Conolly by RETESPAZZI
Sottopassaggio pedonale di Porta Vescovo by AGILE
Edificio 3 by workinco
Residenza by LANGYX
Ex Casa albergo per anziani by SIMONACOLUCCI
Ex-macello comunale by ASSBUENAONDA
Ex-Ospedale San Giacomo by ASSBUENAONDA
Masseria O’ Sentino by INDIEVIDUI
Stabile di uffici abbandonato by DANYGALVANI
Palazzo Cosentini by CARLONATOLI

3. What is the process you wanted to start with your work? What is the social aim you wanted to reach with your work?

In the last years we have witnessed the constant investment in new construction, leaving behind millions of old abandoned buildings. This process has led to the phenomenon of land consumption in most of the world, but the recent economic crisis stressed the problem even more, condemning the new constructions to remain vacant.

The solution to this problem is taking an altogether new approach: abandoned buildings are not liabilities but assets from which we should take the most possible advantage. [im]possible living tries to promote this new sustainability approach. Instead of building new structures over and over again, we can utilize what already exists. Having abandoned buildings in your city or in your neighborhoods is not only a waste, but it also means trouble, that, in a long term perspective, becomes costly for the public sector.

We are creating a platform available to all, which consists of the most complete database of abandoned buildings in the world. It is a virtual place that everyone can use and all can be shared and discussed, and where citizens can actually have an influence in shaping the future of the place they live in.

Many times the interests of construction companies, or even publicadministrations, are not consistent with the local environment of the area itself. This missing link between those sides can be discussed through the [im]possible living platform, in order to build mutual benefits for both sides. Through the website, entire communities can share their needs and ideas, and this could lead to a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Nowadays, real estate projects are handled behind closed doors and the problem is that often the local population is not involved in the design process. This implies, on the one hand, a mismatch between the purpose of the construction project and the real needs of the urban and social settlement. On the other hand, it takes additional time to complete due to the resistance from local communities, which often brings in legal involvement.

Our aim is to create a more efficient process to reuse abandoned structures, with a benefit for local communities that will be able to affect or even contribute projects on the online platform. A benefit for the public and private investors that would receive important inputs or even entire concepts developed by teams of reactivators and a benefit for the reactivator teams that would pursue their own projects with all the technological, professional, and financial support to fully accomplish their goal.

4. What is the next phase of development that your research will undergo?

We released the reactivation services a few months ago, so now our aim is to expand the community as much as possible and start as many reactivation projects as possible. This is very connected to making the available services better, making the actions easier, making the contributions from the community as simple as possible, and adding new features that can increase the sharing activity on the site.

Furthermore, we want to investigate the real bottleneck of reactivation processes: getting the project funded! In fact, the real problem when you talk about abandoned buildings is that, even with low-cost interventions, using them involves pricey investments. So our question is: How do we ease the investment process? How can we push for better projects and actually bring them to life? It’s complicated research, but it’s definitely what we want to focus on during the next year.

5. What are you personal references for the theme of mapping (from ancient to contemporary ones)?

Our point of view is very connected to recent technologies, in particular, web technologies. We consider the birth of web 2.0 and web 3.0 the beginning of a new era: the shift from static contents to dynamic ones, but more importantly, the participation and involvement of people in crowd projects, tools created for geo-localization, augmented reality, and much more.

This had a dramatic impact on the theme of mapping: for the first time in history, people from around the world could contribute to global mapping projects seamlessly, using services like Google Maps, Open Street Map, Wikimapia, History Pin, Ushaidi, Foursquare, and thousands of other services that are enabling users to map things in the world and share the information globally.

This process is generating a huge amount of data that, in most cases, is openly available to everyone via API systems (in computer science, an API is a way to access private databases, retrieve information, and build a new service using one or many different external data sources) For example, today I can use Google Maps API to obtain geographical information and then use Wikipedia to map monuments and historical places.

The potential of this revolution is very immense and has already started to affect our society in a significant way, but we still can’t entirely understand all the possibilities that will be generated in the upcoming decades.

Site: [im]possibleliving
If you would like to know more, visit their BlogFacebook and Twitter, or read their FAQ

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MetaMap | Urban Sensing by Accurat

Category: ⚐ EN+city+internet+Intervista+MetaMap+technologies+urbanism

Accurat is an information design agency based in Milan and New York, founded by Giorgia Lupi, Simone Quadri and Gabriele Rossi in 2011.

They define their work as the following:

We envision and identify new ways to structure information, revealing and addressing latent needs, desires and opportunities. Basing our methods on the design thinking approach, we specialize in providing our clients with consultancies, services, and products related to information design. Focusing on how information is transforming networks, cultures, contexts, and behaviors is an attempt to understand the future, a demonstration that it can be intercepted and designed.

I interviewed them about Big Data base maps and about their ongoing work in mapping: Urban Sensing.

Experiment of Tweet mapping in Milan during design week


1. How did you get to the practice of mapping? 

To us, mapping could be seen in a broader context as “structuring information”.

To start off, it’s not needed to say that information related issues are at the core of any design project that deal with cities, public services, society, and behaviors regardless of scale. Particularly, we have always been interested in urban related projects that deeply rely on information: contexts, analyzing data, designing analytical tools, and visual narratives that provide awareness and comprehension of changing urban dynamics.

In our past entrepreneurial experiences, at Interactiondesign-Lab, we experimented working between the intersection of information systems and urban dynamics within the design of the Plan of Services for the Municipality of Milan (developed between 2009 and 2010). We designed a plan not to be intended as a product or document, since it was developed as a continuous process of listening, monitoring, reporting, and crossing the needs and the offers in terms of services of the city.

We designed 2 tools at 2 different scales, the macro scale of the city and the micro scale of the neighborhood. These tools don’t define what services we plan to have, but they give directions on how to cross the demand and the possible answer in terms of services in a meaningful way. It was, in fact, an information design project.

2. In what way do you obtain and treat the data for your mapping?

A big mapping project we are currently working on and coordinating at Accurat is ✳UrbanSensing.

The ✳UrbanSensing project is a EU funded project which aims to design and develop a platform for extracting patterns of use and citizens’ concerns with city spaces, through robust analysis of User Generated Content (UGC) shared by city users over social networks and digital media. The platform will allow the user to analyze citizen’s perceptions related to specific geographic areas and understand how population reacts to new urban policies within participatory mechanisms.

Novel digital and telecommunication technologies can be deployed to integrate data-sharing platforms within the spatial dynamics of the city. If properly analyzed, geo-tagged and User Generated Content (UGC) coming from Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, or Flickr can be useful in the creation of meaningful, real time indicators of people’s perceived and communicated urban experiences. Through natural language and network analysis, it is possible to identify the nested micro-narratives that shape the behavioral and semantic background of a place and to extract specific urban indicators.

Our assumption is that by conducting an analysis of datasets based on text extracted from UGC we can recognize multiple stories, as they emerge, overlap and influence each other, unfolding from city users’ mental representations and spatial experiences of city spaces. In fact, by providing tangible, visible references, the spaces of actual buildings and cities participate in constructing the meaning of the speech that articulates itself within them and as conversations unfold within particular architectural settings, they build up increasingly dense webs of shared understanding grounded -at least in part- on the points of reference that these settings afford.

Thus, within ✳UrbanSensing we are mainly gathering and analyzing geo-localized social media data (Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, and Flickr); and such data will be properly integrated and compared with more traditional sources of urban information (socio-demographic territorial data, real-estate indicators, and environmental data) to produce dynamic and evolving images of the city as used and perceived by its’ citizens and temporary users.

3. What is the application of open source/social network-based mapping you are interested in the most?

If properly analyzed, integrated, and interpreted, Social Media data can help stakeholders at the urban scale to “forward-looking” innovation strategies based on a thorough analysis of people’s contexts, interests, and needs.

Among the possible urban topics this data could partially answer to, we will narrow them to the following particular issues:

  • Rapidly intercepting emerging urban dynamics, such as gentrification processes and precise areas’ evolution through time (for identifying trends in areas’ related phenomena, in the exact moments they’re originated, with the possibility to add more dynamic parameters to those used by the real estate market);
  • Understanding which are the factors (e.g. morphological aspect, aesthetic quality, public service availability and density, infrastructure granularity, cultural scene, and commercial service) that attract people in particular places (areas, neighborhoods), and how this evolves through time;
  • Understanding which kind of people (language / on-line influence / demographics) are in specific areas at particular moments;
  • Highlighting patterns of movement throughout  the city (from which places people in an area come from? where are they going? are they residents, visitors, or ordinary city users?);
  • Interrogating data about a particular topic (e.g. brand name, event name) or about a selected theme (e.g. cultural phenomena, cutting-edge topics) to see how things evolve spatially and temporarily.

All this, to provide a better understanding of an areas’ related phenomena and evolution, to redefine actual districts’ fixed boundaries and to see where public services, policy’s infrastructures, design interventions, or activities could be better located, and to try and build models to predict near-future evolution;

Experiment of Tweet mapping in New York


4. What is the next phase of development that your research is undergoing?

One of the forthcoming steps of our project is to gain a deeper understanding of:

  • How such data sources could be interpreted (in terms of sharing behaviors and motivations) to get actual and consistent insights;
  • Which are the real limits of such data in terms of research (e.g. demographic, digital divide, economic, location-related);
  • How to overlap and integrate such data sources with more traditional layers of territorial information (e.g. socio-demographic data, income data, rental costs, ethnic data, and environmental ones such as pollution and sanitary inspections, etc.) to finally display extreme high-resolution views and interpretations of territorial related dynamics.
  • How unexpected patterns and meaningful questions could emerge from data themselves. 

In fact, UGC differs from conventionally produced geographic information in several aspects. The source of the information, the technologies for acquiring it, the methods and techniques for working with it, and the social processes that mediate its creation and impact. Traditionally, geographic information has been produced by experts and institutions, therefore, certain types of information have been privileged and other types ignored, and even marginalized. UGC’s represent a powerful shift in sources, content, characteristics, modes of data production, mining, sharing, dissemination, and use. Therefore, a wide set of meaningful questions (that have been partly investigated for “conventional” geographical information) need now to be re-investigated, and a framework on how to use these information still has to be built.

In parallel, we are designing and developing the technological architecture and the actual interface allowing us (and lately, stakeholders) to perform specific queries and produce such dynamic maps in a very visual and intuitive way.

5.  What are you personal references for the theme of mapping (from ancient to contemporary ones)?

We would here focus on emerging critical practices that propose new models to describe the city that stresses the collaborative and constructionist dynamics of the mapping process.

The underlying idea of this approach considers the geographic, urban experience through a network of multiple fragmented temporary data and information generated by human-place interactions and collaborative dynamics. Based on these theoretical premises, several experimental GIS-based applications focusing on cartography emerging from users’ perceptions and activities have been produced.

As Zook & Graham noticed, traditional methods used to register users’ perceptions and activities about the cities and its fruition – like surveys and ethnographic reports – seem to be inadequate to meet the need of information of contemporary society both because they require a considerable amount of resources (in terms of time and money) and because they do not consider the temporal dimension.

Mapping projects based on UGC have been therefore conducted both by research institutions (e.g. CASA at University College London, SIDL Lab at Columbia University, Senseable City Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Urban Age at London School of Economics) and independent scholars and design firms (e.g. Christian Nold, Stamen Design) with the aim of creating new ways to observe and depict specific subjective and objective processes taking place in cities.

Senseable City Lab explored mapping systems based on UGC on several projects like World’s Eyes and Obama One People.

Current City, a European foundation committed to address long-standing city management problems in unconventional ways, explored the potential of urban mapping based on real-time data streams on users’ location coming from telco providers.

Christian Nold’s work focused on in-depth research of technological tools in order to unravel their social and political layers, and on building socially constructive, bottom-up devices, that take the form of practical tools such as in the Bio Mapping project.

Bio Mapping is a research project based on biometric sensors that can be worn by users provided with a GPS device able to trace their paths through the city, and that register specific parameters (e.g. emotional status in a specific place or situation) and publish them as user generated content on specific emotional maps. This project explores tools that allow people to selectively share and interpret their own bio data. Within this framework, Nold investigates how the perceptions of a community in an environment can change when they become aware of their own intimate emotional status.

Some other recent GIS projects focused on the idea of building open tool-kits that could be used by the community of students and practitioners of urban design, planning, and management. The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL created MapTube as a free resource for viewing, sharing, mixing, and mashing maps online and the NeISS project (National e-Infrastructure for Social Simulation) provides a platform to meet the demand for powerful simulation tools by social scientists and public and private sector policymakers. The tools enable researchers to create workflows to run their own simulations, visualize and analyse results, and publish them for future discovery, sharing, and re-use. This facilitates development and sharing of social simulation resources within the urban planners and social science community, encourages cooperation between model developers and researchers, and helps foster adoption of simulation as a research method and as a decision support tool in the public and private sectors. Design Tool is an application proposed by Predrag Šiđani, which has its starting point in Lynch’s propositions about city and urban form. Lynch’s theory of urban form and its hierarchical structure of main urban elements were applied, together with his concept of cognitive mapping, to a conceptual model of the Design Tool.

This is the second post in the MetaMap series about mapping. You can follow the conversation on Twitter, Google+, Diaspora, or Facebook through the #metamap hashtag.

credits: Giorgia Lupi and Gabriele Rossi (
acknowledgements: texts above are part of the UrbanSensing project
Design Week Tweets: Accurat with Marco Vettorello (data gathering) and Paolo Patelli (data processing and visualization)
Thanksgiving: Accurat with Marco Vettorello (data gathering and processing)

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MetaMap | a web research on mapping

Category: ⚐ EN+city+internet+MetaMap+open culture+technologies+urbanism

Image by Tommaso Miti for Ecosistema UrbanoMaps and cartography have been, traditionally, tools to express and exercise power and have been used exclusively by a few people who held the knowledge. Nowadays, this practice is enriched by more and more nuances and gets contributions from all sorts of fields.

We find maps exposed in galleries, painted in the streets, and drawn as acts of performance art, dealing with the necessity to express identities and culture in mass societies. We see maps based on a huge amount of information and real time data coming from social networks, which were only made possible once computer science and the web appeared, thus enabling us to have an unprecedented knowledge of what’s happening in cities. Cartography is even used as a tool to emphasize critical aspects of our society that, otherwise, wouldn’t be noticed and as a platform to solve these same problems.

All of these multiple approaches are becoming a common experience as they are often the result of a participative process and are shared as open source information. On one side, this shows the need of understanding the growing complexity of reality and the quantity of information that is being produced. On the other side, it expresses the need to re-create an identity through self-knowledge in the actual context of globalization.

I have decided to examine the current state of cartography due to the influence it’s having on many fields today, with the power to be transversal with the classical arts. This research is an ideal continuity with the exhibition that was recently hosted by Caixa Forum (Madrid), on contemporary cartographies. The exhibition started with the situationist and surrealist approaches that opened up the mapping discipline, introducing contaminations from other fields (art, politics, statistic…) overcoming the scientific point of view, showing it lacks the description of reality.

The aim of my investigation is to make a MetaMap, a research on different types of maps I come across, in this meta-map we will see the multiplicity of possible outputs, as well as the common points between them. Taking advantage of the web and its horizontal-knowledge rather than the classical vertical and deepened knowledge. The research was made seeking projects and asking the same set of questions to the authors. These interviews should make it possible to separate the different tendencies and intentions of mapping, tracing connections, and intersections. I manage to focus on particular authors by interviewing them to better explain their work.

This is the list of posts published in this series so far:

Urban Sensing by Accurat

MyBlockNYC, interview with Alex Kalman

[im]possible living, rethinking the abandoned world

Domenico Di Siena about Meipi

6000 km by Basurama, interview with Pablo Rey

Interview with Christian Nold on his mapping projects

Interview with Pablo de Soto, Hackitectura

MapTube by CASA

The posts in this series by our collaborator, Tommaso Miti, were be published once a week under the MetaMap category. You can follow the conversation in your favourite social network through the #metamap hashtag.

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Our about page and portfolio, updated | v1.2

Category: ⚐ EN+ecosistema urbano+internet

ecosistema urbano . main page

One of the most important challenges over the 13 years of history of Ecosistema Urbano has been to communicate what we do in a readable and attractive way. However, in everyday work, the priority has always been the urgent, immediate projects, so we kept postponing the time for making a structured presentation of our professional activity online.

This “EU portfolio” task has been present in all of our task management meetings, always at the end of the “to do list”. But that’s over!

The Ecosistema Urbano Portfolio: What we do

We have finally put ourselves to the task with dedication and we are pleased to present our portfolio: a selection of our works and proposals, showing pictures, diagrams, plans, related links to publications, etc … A selection that, while not yet complete, is organized by categories, tags and years, making navigation more effective.

From now on, from our home page or from the header of this blog,  you can access And this is more or less what you will find:

ecosistema urbano . portfolio 1.2

We carried an internal research on portfolio sites we liked, and as a result we have gone for a responsive layout, an adaptable grid structure showing all the projects at once, plus a sidebar menu, where you can find the main information about our firm as well as 3 different navigation systems:

– A general classification of projects by types
– A more specific classification according to themes
– A yearly index

We have chosen this simple web structure with the aim of keeping it updated (which, so far, we are managing to do!), and of course the website is a “work in progress” itself. This way, we didn’t have to wait til all the contents were uploaded to make it public. We have uploaded so far 20 of our most relevant works, but we plan to add more in the months to come, so that you can get an overall impression of “what we do”.

Contact us

We invite you to check some of the presentation sections on the sidebar menu, that have been recently updated:

About us is a complete presentation of Ecosistema Urbano, who we are and what we do.

– On Articles + Papers you can read some of our written contributions to international architecture magazines and other publications.

– Under the label Publications you can see where our projects have been published so far and have access to previews of some of these publications.

– You can also take a look to the Lectures + Exhibitions and Education + Workshops sections for more information (including related links to most of them).

Linkable, downloadable

We find the typical architect’s portfolio websites, usually made in Flash (a legacy from the ’90s, but still very common),  quite frustrating. They don’t allow you to link to a specific project, and forget about downloading an image! With such limitations the message of those websites is a clear “keep your hands off my stuff”… and we do want you to get your hands on our staff!

So we have made sure you will be able to easily link to any project, year, tag or category (or even a specific image), to view the images in a good resolution, and to download them.

Reconnecting our online presence

When designing the poftfolio page we noticed something else: On top of all our websites (about, portfolio, blog, video channel), we were missing a way to link and navigate between them.

Now we have tried to address this issue by creating a common header syle for all the sites, which includes a menu with links and a changing color that matches the ones displayed in our main page:


We hope you enjoy it! And please, feel free to make any comments on it, we will appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

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Porfolio actualizado | v1.2

Category: ⚐ ES+ecosistema urbano+internet+noticias

ecosistema urbano . main page

En un un post anterior os presentábamos el trabajo hecho para lanzar nuestro nuevo porfolio, que a pocas semanas de estar online ya nos está resultando muy útil. Dado que lo lanzamos como una versión en proceso,  durante este tiempo hemos estado introduciendo mejoras y contenidos de forma casi continua. Os comentamos algunas de las más significativas:

Descripción de temas y áreas de trabajo

Ahora cada etiqueta y categoría no sólo dependen de que el término sea descriptivo, sino que al hacer clic sobre una de ellas, sobre la selección correspondiente de proyectos se muestra una descripción que añade algo más de contexto. Esto es algo que también podría beneficiar a las categorías del blog, así que posiblemente lo añadamos aquí también en un futuro.

Descripción de etiqueta

Completar la páginas de presentación

Ahora la página de presentación incluye una descripción más elaborada, fotos del equipo y el estudio, una pequeña declaración sobre nuestra forma de abordar el trabajo y una lista de reconocimientos como podría figurar en cualquier CV completo. La página de contacto tiene ahora un mapa con la ubicación y una foto de la fachada tal y como es hoy día (en el StreetView aún se ve cubierta de andamios).

Contact us

Página de artículos

La página de artículos y papers, que estaba en blanco, ya tiene enlaces a las versiones digitales de varios documentos, cuando están disponibles, o a la página de la publicación correspondiente.

Articles and papers

Página de conferencias y exposiciones + enseñanza y talleres

Han sido quizás las más trabajosas de completar, ya que han sido muchas las actividades en las que hemos participado en estos años y ponerlas todas ha requerido volver atrás en el tiempo, revisar listas anteriores, actualizarlas, ir rellenando huecos y buscando enlaces.

Lectures and exhibitions

Unificación de encabezados

Además, a un nivel por encima de cada web en particular, estamos buscando la manera de que las distintas partes de nuestra identidad digital se relacionen claramente entre sí para que no queden dispersas o inaccesibles.

Ahora los encabezados tienen un menú en común que permite saltar de una página a otra, y que se corresponde con la estructura mostrada en nuestra página de entrada:


Esto ha sido más difícil de resolver en el porfolio, que tiene una estructura adaptable (responsive) bastante diferente a la del blog. Lo hemos solucionado, de momento, dejando el logo fijo como parte de la barra lateral y dejando que el menú-encabezado suba como en el resto de las páginas. ¿Funciona?

Más proyectos

Por último, pero no menos importante, hemos añadido una nueva tanda de proyectos para seguir completando el porfolio.  Algunos construidos, otros en proyecto, y la mayoría anteriores en el tiempo a los que teníamos ya publicados. Aún quedan otros tantos por publicar, pero de momento ya puede uno hacerse una idea de nuestra actividad:


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¿Cómo se ve Plaza Ecópolis en los mapas?

Category: ⚐ ES+arquitectura+ecosistema urbano+eu:live+internet

Revisando la ubicación del proyecto Plaza Ecópolis en Rivas-Vaciamadrid para incluirla en la ficha del proyecto en nuestro portfolio, hemos descubierto que en Bing Maps ya aparece el proyecto finalizado. Ahí va una captura:

Ortofoto de Plaza Ecópolis en Bing Maps

Ortofoto de Plaza Ecópolis en Bing Maps – Clic para ver el mapa

Como curiosidad, en la vista aérea de Bing Maps, en cambio, aparece aún en obras:

Vista aérea de Plaza Ecópolis en Bing Maps - Clic para ver mapa

Vista aérea de Plaza Ecópolis en Bing Maps – Clic para ver mapa

Y en Google Maps (y StreetView) van mucho más atrasados: se ve todavía como un solar completamente vacío.

Ortofoto de Plaza Ecópolis en Google Maps

Ortofoto de Plaza Ecópolis en Google Maps – Clic para ver mapa

En OpenStreetMaps por defecto no hay ortofoto, y el edificio no está mapeado… pero eso sí que podríamos cambiarlo nosotros mismos.

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#p2pwikisprint | Mapeando experiencias P2P en un evento glocal y distribuido

Category: ⚐ ES+cultura abierta+eventos+internet

Por fin, apurando al último momento y tras leerme de corrido los 100 últimos emails cruzados en la lista de correo, empiezo a entender la dimensión de lo que mañana (u hoy, según cuando leas esto) miércoles 20 de marzo será el primer wikisprint iberoamericano para mapear experiencias P2P, abreviado en Twitter bajo el hashtag #P2PWikisprint.

Imagen: @ColaBoraBora, bajo una licencia CC  3.0 Reconocimiento, Compartir igual.

Imagen: @ColaBoraBora – CC 3.0 Reconocimiento – Compartir igual

A estas horas de la víspera hay ya tanto material circulando, tantos links, tantos pads, tantos mails, que es difícil decidir por dónde comenzar a contar todo esto. La nota de prensa, preparada y traducida, como casi todo lo demás, en un documento compartido, nos cuenta lo siguiente:

La P2P Foundation, una de las instituciones más respetadas sobre los nuevos paradigmas de red, ha lanzado una convocatoria abierta para mapear experiencias alrededor del procomún, peer-to-peer (P2P), licencias abiertas y gobiernos participativos, entre otras cosas.

El wikisprint, un proceso/evento breve e intenso de documentación colectiva y mapeamiento de experiencias, tiene su origen en las comunidades de programadores informáticos de Python, uno de los lenguajes más populares del software libre. La práctica se extendió a otros ámbitos, como a la escritura de libros colectivos. La P2P Foundation realiza wikisprints para mapear experiencias alrededor de estos nuevos paradigmas.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) es una topología de red abierta en la que cada nodo está conectado al resto sin pasar por ningún centro. El P2P –con su apertura, descentralización y empoderamiento colectivo– no es ya algo minoritario. Es filosofía, tendencia de trabajo, una realidad sólida. El P2P es el sistema nervioso del mundo. Por eso, una simple visita de Michel Bauwens a Madrid y Barcelona ha desencadenado un #wikisprint descentralizado en el que van a realizarse muchas otras actividades: debates, conferencias, proyecciones, self media, talleres, visualizaciones de redes, vídeos… La programación estará colgada en este documento.

Aunque inicialmente iba a ser un #Wikisprint Iberoamericano, Italia y Grecia se van a unir. La importancia de esta unión del sur de Europa y América Latina no es casual. España es el país del mundo con mayor número de espacios de co-working per cápita (3º en número total). Lidera, con mucha diferente, el movimiento de las monedas sociales. España, en 2010 ya tenía más obras licenciadas con Creative Commons que Estados Unidos. España es el cuarto país del mundo en número de fab labs. Italia, por su parte, es referencia en hardware y diseño abiertos. Grecia camina hacia una gestión orientada al procomún. Y América Latina tiene una tradición milenaria alrededor de las prácticas colaborativas, una vibrante energía en redes sociales y algunos de los Gobiernos del mundo más abiertos al software libre y a la participación digital.

Han confirmado su participación en el #wikisprint más de cien trescientas organizaciones, redes, colectivos, empresas, instituciones e individuos independientes, desde el Media Lab Prado de Madrid al colectivo SurSiendo de Chiapas, desde la Escuela de los Comunes de Barcelona a CulturaPeru, desde la Secretaría de Economía Creativa del gobierno de Brasil al colectivo Hacktivistas, desde Inicitaiva Focus a muchos grupos vinculados al movimiento 15M,,, La Lata Muda, y un largo etcétera.

¿Cómo participar?

Cada “sede” o nodo local ha compartido su programación en este documento, que es un buen punto de arranque si queréis participar. Para los que, como nosotros, estéis en Madrid, la sede presencial en esa ciudad es Intermediae – Medialab en Matadero y la “sede digital” será la plataforma ThinkCommons, que retransmitirá el evento en directo y durante todo el día, saltando de huso horario en huso horario.

El programa para Madrid que difunden desde el Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas es el siguiente:

– 12:30 en adelante, sesión de Think Commons con Domenico di Siena. En el Terrario de Intermediae, se proyectarán las conversaciones que se vayan produciendo.
– 17:00-18:00 Micrófono abierto “¿Cómo mapeamos?” para para presentaciones informales de proyectos, facilitado por el Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas, junto con el grupo de la mesa de proyectos ciudadanos Mappe.
– 18:00-19:30 Debate abierto sobre la cultura p2p en español. ¿Cuál es su especificidad? ¿Cómo potenciarla? Con la participación de Felipe Ortega, Antonio Lafuente, Margarita Padilla (por confirmar), Jesús González-Barahona (por confirmar)
– 19:30-20:30 Sesión de Think Commons en conexión con Donostia-San Sebastián.

Los ejes temáticos para esta larga retransmisión, como nos amplía Bernardo en un mail de última hora, van a ser:

P2P: más allá del P2P (introducción) – 12.30 h GMT+1
Educación P2P, educación abierta – 13.15 h GMT +1
Procomún | Cultura libre | Licencias Abiertas | Economía colaborativa – 15.00 h GMT +1
Periodismo Ciudadano | Comunicación P2P – 16.00 GMT+1
Sesiones desde Intermediae/Medialab Prado – 17.00 GMT+1
Ciudades P2P – 20.30
Democracia en Red – 22.00 horas GMT +1
OccupyEverything | movimientos en red | Hacktivismo – 23.30 horas GMT+1

Para posibles modificaciones sobre este plan, podéis consultar este documento.

Imagen: @ColaBoraBora, bajo una licencia CC 3.0 Reconocimiento, Compartir igual.

Imagen: @ColaBoraBora – CC 3.0 Reconocimiento – Compartir igual.

Para dar una (muy parcial) idea de la cantidad de trabajo y autoorganización que hay tras este evento, os enlazamos algunos documentos de trabajo que pueden ser útiles:

Criterios para el mapeado
Formulario para el mapeado en MediaWiki
Lista de ciudades
Plan de comunicación

Y una serie de links a los distintos medios por los que podréis seguir el evento:

Web oficial:
Redes sociales: Facebook | | Google+ | @P2Pwikisprints + #p2pwikisprint + #GlobalP2P
Imagen: Flickr | Vimeo
Retransmisión en directo: evento en Google+ via Think Commons

Entre toda la gente implicada en esto, un reconocimiento especial se merece Bernardo Gutiérrez (@bernardosampa), que ha estado todo el tiempo en el ojo del huracán, conectando nodos y liderando lo que se puede definir como un impresionante ejercicio de autoorganización. Juzgad si no por el aspecto de la lista de correo en mi bandeja de entrada esta mañana:

Lista de correo #p2pwikisprint

A estas horas los hashtags arden ya camino del trending topic, los últimos preparativos se llevan a cabo en ciudades separadas miles de kilómetros entre sí y la gran maquinaria del evento, construida en el taller global que es Internet, comienza a entrar en funcionamiento. Os animo a seguir y participar en lo que sin duda va a ser un hito entre los eventos en red y la cultura del P2P.

Comments: (5)

EU ABOUT… ¡por fin!

Category: ⚐ ES+ecosistema urbano+internet+noticias

ecosistema urbano . agency homepage

Uno de los retos más importantes a lo largo de los 13 años que llevamos trabajando como Ecosistema Urbano es comunicar lo que hacemos de una manera legible y atractiva. Sin embargo, en el trabajo del día a día lo prioritario ha sido siempre lo urgente, lo inmediato, quedando siempre pospuesto el momento de hacer una presentación estructurada de nuestra actividad profesional.

Este “EU about”, como venimos llamándolo desde hace mucho, se había convertido en una tarea presente en todas las reuniones internas de trabajo, que finalmente quedaba siempre al final de la lista. Pero eso se acabó.


Esta vez –por fin– nos hemos puesto a la tarea con intensidad y tenemos el placer de presentaros nuestro porfolio, una agrupación de nuestros proyectos e iniciativas con documentos gráficos y enlaces a publicaciones, etc… Una selección que, aunque aún no está completa, ordena el trabajo por categorías, etiquetas y años, permitiendo una navegación más eficaz.

A partir de ahora, desde nuestra página de inicio o desde el encabezado de este blog, podréis acceder a, y esto es más o menos lo que os encontraréis:

ecosistema urbano . portfolio

Diseño y estructura

La página está compuesta por una retícula de proyectos que se adapta al ancho de cada pantalla, y una barra lateral fija que contiene los elementos de navegación. En esta barra lateral, debajo del logo y del buscador –que funciona bastante bien y es la mejor manera de encontrar rápidamente cualquier proyecto–, encontramos de arriba a abajo:

– Una serie de enlaces a páginas con diferentes contenidos de presentación y CV de Ecosistema Urbano.
– Una clasificación básica según el tipo de proyecto, usando categorías bastante generalizadas en nuestro entorno profesional y por tanto fácilmente reconocibles.
– Una clasificación más particularizada, usando etiquetas que resumen los temas que más nos interesan o los distintos enfoques desde los que abordamos los proyectos.
– Una sencilla clasificación temporal, por años.

En “beta”

La estructura de la página es muy sencilla, lo que nos permitirá actualizar nuestro “escaparate” fácilmente. Como presentar una página perfectamente pulida con todos los proyectos adecuadamente revisados corría peligro de seguir siendo algo “siempre en proyecto”, hemos decidido asumir completamente esta característica y publicarlo en beta, por lo que es posible que encontréis pequeños errores o cosas a medio desarrollar. Está bien. Sabemos que, ignorando al perfeccionista que algunos llevamos dentro, podremos vivir con ello.

Además de presentar hoy una primera versión del diseño y la estructura de la página, que iremos mejorando, hemos comenzado con una selección básica de doce proyectos, que iremos actualizando y completando a lo largo de las próximas semanas.

Concursos, ganados y no ganados, proyectos que se materializan y aquellos que nunca serán realizados… es interesante lo que se encuentra y lo que se piensa en el proceso de desenterrar ese trabajo y compartirlo.

De ahora en adelante…

… os iremos comentando por aquí las mejoras que vayamos haciendo o los proyectos que vayamos incorporando, prevemos que a bastante buen ritmo ahora que tenemos la base montada y en marcha.

Esperamos que os resulte interesante, estaremos encantados de recibir vuestros comentarios y sugerencias.

EU ABOUT – ecosistema urbano . portfolio