[Strawbale] Olivers' Fun with Maps
Oliver Blake Swann
obswann at btinternet...
Thu Mar 5 15:23:41 CET 2009
Regarding "the purpose of the map":
* The map's purpose is to reach people who would otherwise never
find the world of natural building (including straw bale building). The
map can be found on many websites around the World from builders
<http://www.savikodu.pri.ee/map.html> to life-style
shup/> websites to Universities
<http://wag.myzen.co.uk/thepolytechnic/?p=159> and private
blogs. The map currently gets about 1,500 visitors per day and is fast
approaching at total of 1 million visits. Even if only 0.1% of them
decide to build naturally that's 1,000 more natural homes.
Regarding "about 1/100th of reality":
* I add buildings to the map as I find them on the web.
* People write to me to ask for their home to be added, as Max did
recently for his
* Organisations contact me to add entire collections like dancing
rabbit <http://naturalhomes.org/ecohousemap.htm?allArabbit> did (here
displayed as a list <http://naturalhomes.org/thelist.htm?allArabbit>
with their banner leading to their website).
Regarding "privacy of the homeowner" (and how to accommodate secret
* I've considered adding regions to the map that, once clicked,
would open a page of non-located SB buildings, but it detracts from the
clean, easy to understand nature of the map and doesn't give a feel for
the number of SB buildings registered.
* I've also considered adding a set of 'not-here' icons (e.g. a
straw bale icon with a red circle) but this will require a major
re-write of the map since the display is controlled by an icon parameter
e.g. http://naturalhomes.org/themap.htm?strawbale to display the home
type straw bale.
* For the moment I have solved the non-accurate location problem
with the text "NOTE: Location of building is close, but WRONG", which is
only seen if a user opens the icon bubble. I think this is a good enough
solution without cluttering the map with different icons and having to
explain the difference between them. Here is an example of a 'not-here'
entry to the map
Regarding "This could leave the Czech map quite empty":
* Needless to say I don't speech Czech so I rely on the valuable
contributions from people like Max.
* I hope the text, "NOTE: Location of building is close, but
WRONG", will mitigate people's reluctance to add to the map.
* As far as possible, I only add good examples of houses so that
visitors to the map see them as a mainstream housing option. If a county
is poorly represented then it can be legitimate to include other homes
that at least attempt to use natural materials like this one in the
2,11> Republic. I would prefer to remove this type once there are
sufficient better examples to represent a country.
I hope this clarifies everything. You are all welcome to contribute to
the map. If you have a lot of buildings to add then I have an
application you can use to add them yourself.
house at naturalhomes...
--- On Thu, 5/3/09, Max Vittrup Jensen <max at permalot...> wrote:
From: Max Vittrup Jensen <max at permalot...>
Subject: Re: [Strawbale] Olivers' Fun with Maps
To: strawbale at amper....muni.cz
Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 11:36 AM
I feel like adding to this discussion, that the past days Oliver and I
have had a fair bit of email exchanges about the tech/admin issues of
the map he has created.
I'm very grateful of his initiative, however it can still use some
tweaking, none the least in deciding what and purpose of the map. A
serious issue is the matter of location. I supplied a brief description
and village/town location of each SB house in Czech Republic, however
his system was set up to pinpoint the precise location, and he prefer
between 80-100 words and direct contact.
Our aim is to have our center as demonstration home, and as such we
don't mind the location issue, however such issue is the exact reason
for some people not to join the map: If you look at Denmark there's
currently only 4-5 SB homes on the map, which represents about 1/100th
Another issue is that it makes the map rely on home-owner agreement, and
not as Herbert suggested: Someone (like me or Herbert) takes the
initiative and adds it on for our country. I find that my action does
not intrude too much on the privacy of the homeowner, as the location is
put centrally at the town square, which may be 5 km from the house. The
point to me is that it shows SB buildings exists in this country.
In addition I tried to highlight what I find a troublesome issue here in
Czech: I attempted to outline the approach of using the Sb for each
house, as fact is that majority of the Sb houses here (about 15), have
had a facination for SB, but a fear of dealing with the building
permits, and as such has made (in my opinion) poor use of the SB:
Typically approach has been to make 2 non-burnable conventional walls
and SB between them. In better cases the homes only have a wooden
framework with reeds and plaster; rarely simply a limited layer of earth
plaster on SB's (One case has up to 25 cm of earth plaster! Makes you
wonder why an adobe wall (16cm) wasn't constructed instead!).
Oliver just wrote this: "If you are critical of the houses and they
don't represent good SB examples that people can learn from, then I'd
rather not have them on the map." ...Hmm: This could leave the Czech map
quite empty(!), and I'll be the first to criticize elements of our own
house as well...who'll be the judge? An architect or a natural builder?
(Classically there's a mile between them; I'm aware that is not the
case for many of you architects reading this list!).
In other words: Olivers map initiative is great! Please supply input for
how to utilize it, so he can be guided by consensus...
The suggestion of different color pins could sort out the issue of
Peace and Love,
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