With digital technology, everyone can become a cartographer!
In the age of wikis and participatory digital tools, intelligence becomes collective and knowledge is more easily shared. The proof is in the road maps, which were once the prerogative of geographers: today, each citizen can enrich the plans of his territory and thus act in the service of the community. Explanations.
Getting lost in the city today seems to be an impossible task: landmarks and signs are omnipresent; moreover, every pedestrian or driver is equipped with at least one personal navigation assistant on his phone and/or in his vehicle. Although these GPS-type software have not completely replaced the traditional paper road maps, they have given them a touch of old, by their ability to be constantly updated to take into account the slightest change in the layout or the roads. But in rural areas as well as at the neighbourhood level, these aids to navigation are not updated as frequently. And "word-of-mouth" between residents remains the best indicator to signal the arrival of a new local service, work on the road, a change of sign…
Data to share for better road use
Capable of receiving geolocation data in real time, embedded digital tools can symmetrically transmit it. It is on this principle that the idea of a collaborative mapping service was created, aiming to involve all volunteer citizens in the perpetual enrichment of a map whose content would be a common good and totally accessible—like OpenStreetMap, a free-to-use and free-licensed map of the world, hosted by University College London. This approach has many advantages: to free oneself from the monopoly (and the risk of dependence on a private operator); to federate local energies around a shared idea; to collectively create a wealth that benefits the territories. Indeed, by updating the cartographic data, the contributors participate in a constant development (tourism, economic, servicial) of the territories by grinding the “white zones” with relevant information.
Combining the power of participatory and data collection to benefit the public interest… The principle is not so far from the ANAIS offer developed by Mobility by Colas. ANAIS is a digital service that promotes a secure mobility thanks to the optimized and preventive management of the road heritage, by identifying hazard zones or near accidents, from data embedded in vehicles. ANAIS allows to accompany the manager of the roads on the relevance of the works carried out on the infrastructures and checking (through indicators) if the safety of the users or if the driving conditions have improved after intervention on these hazard zones. ANAIS wishes to promote thanks to the data of millions of road users and to encourage the establishment of an infrastructure of quality, reliable and sustainable that returns to a quality of service expected by the citizens.