WIP : Improve OFN Map / directory

Hi everyone !

In this post I will described several ideas so we might need to split everything in different post afterwards. Still I would like to have feedback from the community before doing so as I might have find a tool that enables us to do everything at once.
(thanks @Rachel)

What is the need / problem

We have regularly questions around what is our current map showing :

  • what does the color mean ? People think that red = shop is closed, green = shop is open. So they have the fealing everything is closed as we have more users with shops (so mostly red pointers). This gives a bad first oppinion on the OFN.
    See this feedback from Lynne on Slack as well :
  • People what to search with specific addresses or products categories, but the filters are not precise enough (payment options, opening hours, type of products…)
  • There are Enterprises who are or want to use OFN for profiling and mapping food system actors that are:
    • not producers or shops / hubs; and/or
    • with greater differentiation between food hubs / shops / producers e.g. more clearly see CSA, farmers’ market etc

Who does it impact ?

  • Instance managers / communities working with people who want to use directory / search
  • Groups wanting to showcase broader activity / actors in their group than just producers and hubs
  • Local government wanting to showcase their territory

What is the current impact of this problem ?

I’m not sure the map is used at all. It is misleading more than anything else.

What is the benefit in focusing on this ?

Drawing more users, particularly groups onto OFN through gradual improvement of directory / search.
Ideas / Feature Candidate

If we do it ourselves :

Use another Open Source tool :

I’ve found Gogo Carto :
example : https://www.presdecheznous.fr/annuaire#/fiche/LES-POTAGERS-DE-MARCOUSSIS/Ajb/@48.749,2.279,11z?cat=Alimentation)

Repo : https://github.com/pixelhumain/GoGoCarto

What do you guys think ? @Matt-Yorkley @Hugs @sauloperez @luisramos0 @lin_d_hop @Danielle @NickWeir @Theodore @Kirsten

Other wishlist on same topic (= improve current OFN map)

to integrate in the discovery work, so that then we can phase and propose what scope to prioritize in v1.

All points sound interesting and valid.
It needs some “Product work” getting these sorted, detailed and ready for dev. I believe some of these are small things that could be put into the backlog if ready.

re OFN’s map being “misleading more than anything else”. I think it’s pretty awesome :slight_smile:

I also share the opinion, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one, that using red/green for the pins is quite confusing. That is something that can be worked on separately.

Then, if we want to distinguish between types of producers/hubs it’d be great to investigate the use of a legend, probably in a sidebar, like the example you share.

Agree with Luis that it needs product work to triage all these ideas you posted.

@luisramos0 @sauloperez Actually I’ve suggested to Nicolas to do only one post for now as the open source tool he found would solve all the ideas. But we don’t know if we can integrate the tool well. So just to be sure: are you saying you would prefer us to do everything by ourselves? In that case yes we will need to split.

oh, I see.

From here: OFN - Software vs Organisation
we also have a nice reference to https://github.com/teikei/teikei

And I think there are other possibilities in the mapping space.

GogoCarto is the most complete and user-friendly tool I’ve found.
There are collaborative functions such as the possibility of proposing changes (bad horraires …) or errors (the shop, the actor no longer exists).
The validation as the proposals are collaborative, there are voting systems to confirm the information.
We are in contact with the designers of the tools that are patie like us in the commons group.
I also share screenshots of the backoffice (GitHub)

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I am echoing the need for more mapping possibilities as outlined at the beginning of this post. I don’t have a preference re: ‘in house’ or integrating a different tool as I have no expertise or experience here. I just want to echo - that improvements to map (and to discovery functions in OFN generally) will go a long way to attract and diversify users. There are lots of online food system type maps out there - where users of various kinds can post themselves - but few of these have the added marketplace possibilities. So OFN - if we improved the map - offers a nice way for users to start out (get discovered) and then deepen their engagement with the markeplace.

Now I understand. This is a big change you’re proposing. So what I see is that so far we went one way, in-house mapping and directoyr and what you suggest is the opposite; we don’t do it ourselves but feed from 3rd party maps.

The first thing I see is that this will have to be integrated at instance level. GogoCarto looks amazing but I guess it’s not used in other parts of the EU, so we might have to integrate with a different project for Katuma, for instance. This has implications in both, making the integration harder and having to deal with a likely diverse feature set of each of these 3rd parties.

Second, we will also need to feed the 3rd party map if we keep the current onboarding. The enterprises provide their address to appear in the map so, this data will need to be sent to the 3rd party for us the query later on.

Overall I like the idea of rethinking our map/directory feature.

I would like to propose a quick win feature candidate to solve the immediate confusion that the map causes.
The colour coding appears to me as a UX bug in which the UX communicates the wrong information to the user.
By changing the colour coding we fix the UX bug and can put more concentrated time into the map.

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Thank you @nicolas for this new post on the topic. As a reminder, would be great to link in the main post to understand the links, two other discussions were proposing things around the same topic: Making OFN an open directory for all the local/sustainable food ecosystem and [WIP] Revamping OFN as Enterprise Search & Directory (in the template you have "link to other discussions normally).

For me that project should not be OFN only. It should be collaborative, a shared mapping infrastructure that anyone can integrate in their own website, or we can build “third party maps”. We are discussing with INRA and Rouen Metropole to see how to start a project in the spirit of https://transiscope.org/ driven by the Virtual Assembly based on semantic web standards.
We already started to talk with @tschumilas especially around this document https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PnwWbj3cYCEYWoEmfvFtQYMGiqa0EInfTdPaGMqBBF0/edit. INRA we discuss with is the national research entity on agriculture things, the researcher we work with is only working on local food systems, she is super interested to get INRA involved in that project. Do you think your research lab would be interested to partner @tschumilas ?

Virtual Assembly confirmed that transiscope is built on Gogocarto, so it could be use as tool for implementation of that project.

One question we need to ask ourselves is if we want in OFN to display a map with all the ecosystem? Or just our hubs and some “friends hubs”, I mean hubs that share our values? Do we want to keep the directory within OFN app or redirect to a more “common / mutualized” app that we share more globally with the ecosystem?

Again my opinion on this is that the value of OFN it the NETWORK. But I understand that maybe we don’t want to redirect from within OFN to a map where buyer will find all Food Assemblies hubs (even if we are happy that they exist, we have different visions :-)) So I would be in favor of only displaying data in our map, within OFN, of hubs within our community, that can be a bit larger than just the hubs that use the OFN platform…

My 2 cts :wink:

For the UK there are other actors that map the ecosystem better than we ever could. bigbarn.co.uk for example

A map of the entire ecosystem is a very large project and I would argue a product that goes beyond OFN core offer. I don’t see the business case in the UK for investing in this service within the core of OFN. But I see the value in collaborations that enable joint mapping of food in different places.

To me this quickly becomes an API question - how to share data from others or import others data into our map.

And to echo the others above - there are quick wins with our map that don’t involve us mapping the entire ecosystem and save admins lots of time answering questions.

I feel it would be good to separate conversations:

  1. Improve OFN Map
  2. Enable OFN to participate in entire ecosystem mapping (and in some instances they may want to lead on that because no one is doing it already)
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I agree with @lin_d_hop that there are 2 things here - some quick wins especially that might improve the OFN map (and I note that several instances seem to be having recurring problems with google map) and also getting our api ‘ready’ so we can easily partner and integrate maps ‘outside’ OFN. In Canada there are many maps now - and I could imagine a project where OFN approaches them and asks if they want to integrate in some way. right now the only way to do this is for someone to input manually all the different enterprises into OFN. I think we (OFN) still decides who we want to integrate with - so I’m not worried about values alignment. Plus at least here, most of the maps I’m thinking of are very values aligned already.

To me this quickly becomes an API question - how to share data from others or import others data into our map.

and also getting our api ‘ready’ so we can easily partner and integrate maps ‘outside’ OFN

Your questions will be answered in Document our API :blush:

I agree on separating the two topics.

Yes indeed @nicolas’ post was only on improving the OFN map, so let’s keep this post for the OFN map (and split it we are going to do everything on our own) and this one Making OFN an open directory for all the local/sustainable food ecosystem for discussions around global directory.

I think ideas from [WIP] Revamping OFN as Enterprise Search & Directory should be integrated in this, or the way around, as it is about current OFN map if you look at it. Two wishlist items that talk about the same topic, so we need to merge and then see if we want to phase this and so then split but more in term of step 1, what scope we propose to prioritize first. So I’m tempting to but both back to curation but this one has voting attached so I leave it here for now. Will add in the main thread with a not that we need to integrated inputs from that other post…

@MyriamBoure actually I did the work with Nicolas to put in here everything that had to do with improving our map for our use (and not the global sector directory). If you think there are stuff missing please add here. And then we can split per thing if we keep doing everything ourselves.

Agroecology Now (with Coventry Uni) has contacted us with a copy of their recent report looking at who is mapping agroecology and the different approaches used- we got a mention. Could be of interest to anyone looking at OFN’s mapping functionality - Draft report_ MAP IT_ JAN 2019.pdf (455.2 KB)

They’ve also invited us to talk with them further, if anyone is interested let me know and I’ll forward you their email.

From: Nick Weir, OFN [mailto:nick@openfoodnetwork.org.uk]
Sent: 01 February 2019 10:50
To: ‘Hello OFN’; ‘Myriam Bouré’; ‘Kirsten Larsen’; ‘Pau Pérez Fabregat’; Lynne Davis (lynne@openfoodnetwork.org.uk)
Subject: RE: mapping agroecology

I am happy to follow this up. I am copying in Lynne because both she and I have worked with Colin Anderson. Lynne – please shout if you don’t want me to follow it up.

I also want to talk to Jessica about http://www.cultivatecollective.org/about/ which looks like it could be a useful collaborator with OFN.

Let me know if you want to take on this follow up. Otherwise I will doodle on Tuesday