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Coming in January: our new online mapping platform, Land Explorer

Tom Kenny

Land Explorer is a new map-based platform designed to provide the information needed for land to be managed for the common good. We’re launching in on 4th January at the Oxford Real Farming Conference. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

Earlier in the year we talked to common good land users about the kind of information they need to make good decisions. In the summer we published a report, Exploring Land Data, which summarised our findings. It also set out our plan for increasing access to this information. We identified the biggest need as being for the development of a new online map-based platform tailored to the needs of common good land users. We have since begun developing this along with our friends at Outlandish – we’ve just finished our first version and are ready to have it tested (if you are interested in helping us with testing, find more information below!).

Land Explorer is designed to guide common good land users towards information that will be useful to them. Rather than just dumping the information on people, we are also designing materials explaining how to use it. Our focus is on curating the user experience to respond to the expressed needs of common good land users. The information includes open data on land such as potential fertility and landscape features. The website also includes, or signposts to, other key guidance that can help users.

 

We have big plans for further developments in the coming year. One key priority is introducing ways for users to upload information. This might for example mean communities identifying derelict land, or landowners listing land they can make available for food growing or other activities. We’re also really interested to look at new features suggested by early users. Finally, we want to bring other people and ideas into the project – creating a base for other developers interested in common good land use to work up their ideas.

For now, our priority is recruiting users and improving the first version of the platform. If you are interested in testing Land Explorer, please get in touch. We aim to make Land Explorer relevant to a wide range of users in the long term. For now we are especially interested in people wanting to understand the potential of the land around them for food growing.

If you are interested please get in touch – hello@sharedassets.org.uk.

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