The importance of mapping

We know there's garbage lying around. But to start changing this, it's best to first get the clear picture about the situation. Mapping is needed to estimate the exact location, amount and type of garbage. It's also important to categorize the garbage to know how to organize the logistics and the handling process for cleanup. This is very helpful information for the cleanup organizers. But also a great way to monitor the situation after the cleanup.
This is not all - perhaps the most important reason why we need to map, is to send out the message - "This is our situation now, it's only going to get better if we all open our eyes and do something about it!" Mapping means you have to open your eyes, and with creating this map we can help others to do the same.

How to map simply

If you can't use the World Waste Map, you can still grab an ordinary map and go out with your friends to 'hunt' the garbage together. You can divide the territorys and compete for who finds more garbage locations. Make it fun, make it like a game you can play. In the real world and with real results. If the garbage is small enough and you have the ability to clean it up immediately, just do it! Later you can share the results with your friends. And be proud of yourself.

Timing and season

Long light days, dry season makes mapping easier. Rainy season, snow, ice, mud makes you moving speed lower. Darkness, thick foliage, darkness may reduce visibility. Best time for mapping is early snowless spring.

Keep in mind that sometimes what looks like a garbage to you, can be other man's treasure. Be sure to follow the permissions and rules regarding private properties, wilderness preserve areas etc.

Communication with other mappers

Try to communicate with other mappers not to double mapping on same areas. If going together with more people, you can divide areas between teams. You can make the best of internet and local groups and clubs - communicate with people to find other potential mappers and then you can create groups and divide areas of responsibility, organize mapping events together. Use internet forums to also to share your experiences and to listen others. And if you have some good ideas and tricks that might be useful for mappers, or some interesting story about what happened while you were mapping, please share them with us at mapping [at] letsdoitworld [dot] org

Ideal mapping team

Contains 2 or more persons, on foot or using 4x4 or similar car, (also can be enduro motorbike or bicycle), using
map, camera, GPS or mobile phone with internet connection. Mappers are motivated persons with clear time-frame, good map-reading skills are an advantage. Make always sure you won't get lost and stay safe. When mapping unfamiliar areas, it's good to ask locals to get information about potential garbage hiding places and about the roads around. Good mapper is eager to socialize with local people - to get hints and also engage potential mappers and cleaners for the future.

Organized mapping

Mapping is a great way to socialize in a new and refreshing way with your friends, co-workers, neighbors and family. The event may be organized by local municipalities, clubs, neighbourhood, active people. It can be in the form of a mapping weekend, mapping day or any other workable timeframe which enables you to pull people's efforts together and interact with each other. Plan ahead, form teams, divide the area and you'll be amazed how much fun and work can be put together into few hours. It's good to have responsible person in each team, who will make sure that all the relevant info will be put correctly on the map.

Share your ideas, experiences and mapping stories with us! Write to info [at] letsdoitworld [dot] org

Have fun!