The Mapping Action Collective is a group based in Portland, Oregon that specialize in data-visualization, mapping, and data analysis. We support grassroots organizations and individuals by providing them with maps, data, and training in data literacy. We collaborate with these groups to help them analyze and visualize data in a way that can support and elevate the work they are doing. Our work has a strong emphasis on collaboration rather than dictation. As data activists, we advocate for publicly accessible data and open source software and hope to dismantle some of the barriers of access to data analysis tools.
We aim to be collaborators, not just allies, when supporting frontline communities, always working toward building trust and long-term partnerships with the groups we work with. As GIS students and practitioners, we want to build a system to support one another not just to network or get ahead professionally, but to foster a critically thinking and socially just community.
Maps are a manifestation of how we visualize space and place. They should be tools for all communities to use and create. We seek out collaborative and community-based projects that use data to disrupt existing power structures and elevate voices that have been marginalized, diminished, or misrepresented by the GIS status-quo.
What is a map? Who has the right to create maps? Is there a right way to create a map? What should maps do for us? And who decides?