History of the Green Map

Our Green Map grew out of an earlier effort led by Deanne Bednar to map Detroit’s sustainable living resources, as seen at the original Open Green Map Detroit .  Green Maps are being created locally in hundreds of communities in 65 countries as seen on GreenMap.org.  Green Map® is a registered trademark and used by permission of Green Map System, Inc. The Detroit Green Map began as an extension of the Open Green Map in 2013. Since then the map has moved to a new platform as we have made strides toward simplifying connecting you with green resources in Detroit.


DGM Development Blog

If you’ve been with us since the beginning, you know this website and the mission behind it have evolved quite a bit over the years.  We’re going to attempt to capture that evolution via this blog from here on out.  A few milestone events have been documented in retro posts.

WordPress Migration

Around Spring of 2016 it was clear that if DGM was to keep growing, the website would need to migrate from a ‘hard coded’ approach to a  flexible and user-friendly content management system.  With the help of local web developer David Salazar, the content, style, and feel of the site that the UMSI students had built was migrated to a WordPress platform.  The migration to WordPress especially by way of the Divi theme has dramatically facilitated the ability to create, modify, and display content on our website.

Detroit Mapmakers Meetings

The DGM team has long looked for inspiration in other organizations, locally and otherwise, that have their own unique way of structuring and displaying data, especially maps.  In the spirit of sharing resources and facilitating discussion, the team proposed the idea of gathering local mapmakers together to discuss their experiences.  The first ‘Mapmakers Meeting’ was held in January 2016 and featured representatives from Community Development Advocates of Detroit to talk about their d[COM]munity project, as well as Detroit Greenways Coalition who spoke on their bike lane and bike parking map.  DGM held two more meetings in 2016 featuring voices from The Greening of Detroit, Detroit Future Cities, and the City of Detroit’s Open Data Portal.  DGM intends to continue these discussions in 2017.

Map and Platform Redesign

In the spring of 2015 two teams of students from University of Michigan School of Information helped reimagine and redesign the website. The first team (Service Day 2015) focused on User Interface / User Experience, and spent a day working with the DGM team to perform a heuristic evaluation on the site. The resultant study was used by a cohort of Alternative Spring Break (2015) students over the course of a week to redesign and recreate the website.

Fusion Table Map

The map was originally hosted on a platform called OpenGreenMap, the mapped points and associated metadata available for export to a .csv file. After some research with other platforms including Leaflet, and Google Mapmaker, we came across Derek Eder’s Fusion Table Map files on GitHub. After importing the OpenGreenMap data into a Fusion Table I was able to work with that code to create a searchable map. The map evolved both functionally and visually over time but the platform remains the same. (2013-2014)  During this time, the website and map were built on the Wix platform.