Mapping Tampere’s treasures

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The results
After hours and hours of self-learning JavaScript language, coding madness and research on forums, a new online tool is soon available to the inhabitants of the Pirkanmaa region: a map to Tampere’s treasures! The objective was to create an interactive map with OpenStreetMap to identify the diverse locations that enable sustainable practices. It offers a quick insight on resources and alternatives around us in a very convenient way. For example, did you know that you can use a sewing machine at the library?! Now with this map, moving towards sustainability has never been easier!

The map area covers the vast region of Pirkanmaa. However, the data focuses for now on the metropolitan region of Tampere, stretching to Kangasala, Vesilahti and Nokia as well. The information – especially in English – is quite limited for resources outside the main urban hub. Nonetheless, the map has more than 33 locations!

A small legend offers the explanation of stores’ score while another one identifies the different categories of locations (stores, workshops, rentals, food and recycling). The category “Food” includes sources of sustainable food products, such some local farms and food markets. For “Rentals”, few places have been identified where you can rent or borrow at low cost tools, sports equipment and much more. The category “Recycling” pinpoints public recycling bins for special materials not universally recycled (yet) in homes: plastic, textiles and so on. Then for “Workshops”, 3 spaces are available in the region with certain membership or conditions to use CNC routers, sewing or woodworking machines, 3D printers and other resources. Finally, the category “Stores” has a score indicator for specific items, which help describing the general inventory (see the picture below). You can thus have a quick idea of a store based on these scores. However, scores are subjective and are subject to constant changing inventories!

The challenge
Having no official education in programming, it was a rich learning experience – and a massive challenge – to create such map. Yet, the goal was very motivating (way more than other course assignments) as the outcome could benefit the community of Tampere. Luckily, a lot of tutorials and forums online are available to help anyone in similar projects, opening the path to endless opportunities. This specific project was achieved thanks to the open-source JavaScript library Leaflet and the text editor for coding Sublime Text 3, while more contributions are shown in the “About” link in the map’s bottom right. Hopefully, a skillful coding community will join this project and contribute to the code (it needs love!).

Of course, this map is not final. This project aspires to compile most of the sustainability locations and as more of them will pop up, the map will become a more exhaustive online resource. Once launched, anyone can contribute by refining the code, adding locations, improving features or just by using it! This digital journey was challenging, but it hopefully eases the one towards sustainability.