Wednesday 4 June 2014

Falling Fruit - Mapping Monster

Recently, I have been working collaboratively with the Falling Fruit group. You might notice a dense cluster of links around Southampton where all of my local fruit map coordinates have now been added to their global master map. There is a permanent link to this map on my blog's left hand side bar. 

Here’s why it’s important: Falling Fruit is like Wikipedia for fruit trees. It’s an open, collaborative map of free food sources all over the planet. We have more than 600,000 locations mapped so far. People all over the world use our tool. Hundreds every day. It’s kind of unbelievable. We have no idea how that happened.

Well, maybe we do. Over the last 18 months, we have built the site entirely in our free time, devoting literally thousands of unpaid hours to its development. We’ve also paid for the hard costs (server fees, filing fees, etc.) out of our own pockets.

We believe that a giant map of free urban food sources makes a compelling argument: there is enough food to go around. Food doesn't have to be a commodity. We have the capacity to produce enough good food for everyone and a lot of it, right in the cities where the bulk of people live. We want people to experience picking an apple, or cherries for a pie, or a handful of warm mulberries on a summer day. We want to convince your city to plant more food for you, not more crepe myrtles.
If we can raise funds to develop an app, we think that we can sell it for a few bucks and use that income to permanently cover our costs. We want Falling Fruit to stay free, open, and available to all. We simply can’t afford to keep paying for everything out of pocket. As the user base has grown, the site is has become too costly to run. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll have to use ads, or make a portion of the site not free. We don’t want to do that.

If you’ve already contributed, Thank You! So you know, you can pick a different “perk” at any time. We’ve added a number of new perks since launching the fundraiser which you might want to check out. Honey, photographic prints, cookbooks, caramel apples etc. 

If you haven’t contributed, can you help? Even if you don’t have any cash to spare, can you help spread the word?

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