Open Planetary Mapping and Social Platform
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README.md

OpenPlanetaryMap (OPM)

Fostering planetary mapping and cartography on the web for all.

Welcome!

Thanks for visiting the OpenPlanetaryMap (OPM) project repository. This document (the README file) is a hub to give you some information about the project. Jump straight to one of the sections below, or just scroll down to find out more.

Who are we?

We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers, developers and designers passionate about planetary mapping and cartography. We are all part of OpenPlanetary, in which the OpenPlanetaryMap project is embedded.

OpenPlanetary is a community of planetary scientists, scientific programmers and planetary science enthusiasts who come together to discuss and develop solutions to problems of planetary science data archiving, discovery and analysis.

The OpenPlanetaryMap (OPM) project is supported by CARTO through their Grant Program, and by Europlanet through their Public Engagement Funding Scheme 2017

The project

Background

The popularity and ubiquity of web interactive maps constitute a powerful leverage for telling stories, communicating and engaging a wide and diverse audience with planetary sciences. A few excellent planetary interactive maps exist but they are either too complex for non-experts, or they are closed-systems that do not allow for collaborative learning, social interactions, and reusability of data.

Vision

Our long-term vision is to enable space enthusiasts and students, planetary researchers and mappers, educators and storytellers to easily and collaboratively create and share location-based knowledge and maps of others planets of our Solar System.

Objectives

Our main objectives articulate around the design and development of Open Planetary Mapping and Social platform that will help building a community of content consumers, creators, and communicators. There are three main platform elements that will address the crossing scientific and outreach needs of multiple audiences:

  1. A web map interface that will make it easy and enjoyable for novice people to discover, search, share, discuss and add their own Places on Mars.
  • It is intended to appeal and be used by educators and science communicators as supporting material or contextual information to prepare their courses or tell stories about Mars.
  1. An open data sets repository containing a selection of location-based information and places of interest about Martian geography, topography, geology, weather, climate, scientific missions and discoveries, robotic and human exploration.
  • It is intended to appeal to and enable planetary scientists and mappers to securely store, manage, visualise, and share (privately within a group of collaborators, or publicly) their own research data sets.
  • Accessible programmatically, It is intended to appeal to and enable developers to create third-party applications like interactive maps, scientific research tools, online-courses/MOOC or 3D/VR environment and games.
  1. At least one beautifully crafted vector-based basemap of Mars that will serve as the base layer of the web map interface exposing content from the open data sets repository, and enriching the overall user experience.
  • It is intended to appeal to and enable web mapping application developers to create third-party applications.

A fourth important element of the platform will be a set of open source software libraries and documentation.

Intended outcome and impact

We aim to make novice people feel that Mars is at their reach, both in terms of knowledge and preconceived physical proximity. We want them to use our future website to quickly and regularly learn something about Mars, just like people head to Google Maps to find their bearings or any location-based information.

With an Open Data and Open Science philosophy in mind, we aim to encourage planetary scientists and mappers to share and collaborate on research data sets in a way that is beneficial to all parties: peers, graduate students, science communicators and the general public.

We also aim to encourage science communicators and storytellers to contextualise more their publications or resources by providing better location information, so as to allow their audience for further exploration and better understanding of the related topic or story.

Being an open source project, we hope to encourage a younger audience of STEM students to apply or acquire new skills in cartography, Geographical Information System (GIS), and programming, by contributing to the OPM software and platform development.

How to contribute

We'd love your feedback along the way.

We also need expertise in the fields of planetary cartography, web development, and geospatial data processing.

If you think you can help in any of these areas or in any of the many areas that we haven't yet thought of, or you simply like the project then please check out our contributors guidelines.

Learn How to Create Your Own Map !

Contact us

Should you want to know more and get in touch with us directly, please feel free to contact Nicolas Manaud by email (nmanaud AT gmail DOT com).