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This article by @manouche is part of a creative blockchain investigation series. Learn more about the #dappexplorer project here.


WHAT IS MAP?

Mapping Aggregate Platform or MAP is an upcoming blockchain platform that attempts to create an up-to-date 3d model of the world that we live in. The project is the brainchild of Arnaud Dazin, My N. Tran and Stephen IP, who bring their experiences in game design, engineering and entertainment. The idea behind MAP is simple: make geospatial data accessible to all.

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Source: MAP
Nearly two thirds of the world’s population are connected by mobile phone access and this number is only set to increase. Our everyday movement with our phones records a rich amount of data to which we have no access. MAP wants to bridge that gap by incentivising users with its MAP Token to submit information to the platform and making that information usable to a large audience. The way that it is conceived, MAP sees itself being used by location-based applications, logistics and supply chain industries for better functioning of autonomous vehicles and drones, AR guided navigation for retail and public spaces and as a new form of digital real estate for advertisers.

MAP-in-a-glance

MAP in a glance. Source: MAP

WHAT MAP MEANS FOR ARCHITECTS AND URBANISTS

While the Lite Version of the whitepaper gives an overview of the platform, it was the question ‘Why decentralise mapping data’ that got me thinking.

As MAP puts it,

Mapping on the blockchain is a way for us to restore agency and ownership in the creation and usage of our maps, without third party control or censorship.>

It is true that humans, and their devices are the biggest tool for data collection. Data collection is second nature for architects and planners.

Early on in my profession, in a fit of frustration, I wished there was an open-source, 3d model of the world. As an urbanist, I need access to reliable geospatial data on which I can build my analysis and models. As an architect and designer, I’m constantly wishing I didn’t have to make the site model from scratch knowing full well that a basic footprint has already been created by someone. Google Earth’s Street Views are the best we have as remote access to a site – and sometimes that’s not available in certain countries. The need for an easily accessible and reliable resource is ideal.

Not only are architects and planner users of MAP, they’re also the people who’d be the perfect contributors to this project. The nature of architecture and urban studies involves consciously recording surroundings – through interviews, measurements, site analysis, sketches, drawings, 3d models, photoshopped views, maps, graphs, simulations and projections. Imagine if there was one common platform where we could just pull all this information from and not worry about its accuracy. Neighbourhood revitalisations, street designs, way-finding projects will all have one common base source. Your next GIS project will not involve hunting through the internet or endlessly contacting government officials for gaining access to location data.

Maybe MAP is not conceived for architects and planners but the value of having one common, open-source, wireframe model of the world will be invaluable to the practitioners in this field.


This post was authored by @manouche, a member of the sndbox incubator. Learn more, follow @manouche or begin a conversation in the comment section below.


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