Frequently Asked Questions - About this Website

OGM is Green Map System's Open Green Map, a social mapping platform. OGM refers to either this participatory platform or one of its many maps created by local Green Mapmakers around the world. Under continual development, check In Progress on the top menu to see which features and formats are coming next.

An Open Green Map is an interactive online map of sustainability sites, pathways and resources that is open to public participation. Merging local knowledge and our freshly updated iconography with open source and Google Map technology, the resulting Open Green Maps and data can be explored through this website, or in mobile, widget and offline formats. With sites open to public comments, green ratings, multimedia elements, impact assessments, and more, everyone can get involved.

Every Open Green Map features green sites highlighted by our Green Map Icons. The set of 170 icons represents the full range of sustainable living, nature, culture and society sites. About 15% of the icons represent negatives and draw attention to problems in order to raise awareness and promote action. A few point out 'neutral' landmarks, but most focus on positive green sites. Hover over each icon in the Legend or in a green site's info-window for the title and definition. At, download the poster and learn more about this award-winning iconography.

OGM is an interactive participatory mapmaking platform developed by Green Map System. This social mapping website helps registered Green Mapmakers worldwide chart their communities' sustainability sites, pathways and resources online and invites the public to enhance each listing. OGM guides users to explore and connect; it also displays the public's insights, images and impacts about each of these significant places.

Continually growing, OGM can be accessed by clicking links on or other websites, through widgets (portable embeddable OGM maps).

You may have arrived directly from, which is our gathering point for both the makers and users of Green Maps worldwide. Online since Green Map System began in 1995, this website continually grows as new Mapmakers add profiles about their maps and their organizations. Many of the website's adaptable mapmaking resources and collaboration features are not available to the public, but you can learn about 100+ tools in's Resources section.

A Green Map is a locally-made map that uses the universal Green Map® Icons to highlight the ecological, social, cultural, and sustainable resources of a particular geographic area. Some Green Maps focus on beneficial natural and sustainability sites, while others include problems impacting community well-being, such as toxic hot spots and other sources of blight.

Each local Green Map has a unique design. It can take many years to go through the entire process of organizing and fundraising, researching, designing and publishing before finally releasing a local Green Map. It may be published in different formats, including printed and digital, mural or poster Green Maps. Some Green Mapmakers have published many editions to chart the progress over time in their community. Over 365 unique editions have been published (as of March 2009). You can explore them in's Maps section, or download from the Info tab on the right sidebar at OGM (if the Mapmaker has linked in a PDF).

In order to reduce the technological and financial barriers to creating an online Green Map, we have developed the cost-effective Open Green Map platform. Using it, Mapmakers skip the time-consuming steps of fundraising, design and distribution. OGM allows for almost instant publication, updating and sharing of the maps. Moreover, OGM adds a social networking component that was not possible before. The public can easily enrich the site's information with ratings, images and comments in any language by clicking tabs in each site's info window. More ways to involve community is being planned, both online and on the go. Find ways to help promote and share OGM on the top menu.

Click the Suggest a Site tab above any Open Green Map (except the World View Map), and fill in the form. The Green Mapmaker (Team Leader) will be alerted and will soon approve your site, publishing it on the map. You can contact the Mapmaker about joining the team (use links in the Info tab on the right of the map). The Mapmaker can invite you to become a Team Member or Coordinator and help manage the project. Read Can I create more than one map for more details.

Only registered Green Mapmakers can create a map at OGM at the present time. Get details at It's not free and you need to have some experience with sustainability. Once you have received the official welcome email, you can login at and click FAQ on the upper menu and follow the instructions under How to Make a Map. You can keep your map private until its ready.

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