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Year published: 2023
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-19594-5_3

Author / Authors:

  • Aliya Ryan
  • José María León Villalobos
  • Mir Rodríguez Lombardo



Mapeo was built with and for earth defenders to document environmental and human rights information and to collect data about their land. It aims to be simple to use and accessible, and the software is free, open source, and can be customized with local languages and settings. The Mapeo Mobile app is used to gather observations in the field, to take photographs and collect data attached to GPS points of significant places. The Mapeo Desktop app is used to organize data collected on mobile or GPS, to create new GIS data, and to visualize, edit data, create printed reports, and publish a map online. The Mapeo toolkit was developed within a strong values framework, to center the needs and priorities of local land defenders. The authors found Mapeo’s strengths to be prioritization of features promoting data privacy and data sovereignty such as being offline first and not dependent on a server; the inclusive design resulting from its co-creation with Indigenous partners leading to ease of use and low-tech threshold; many features increasing accessibility and inclusivity with customizations, including the possibility of translation into any language, custom icons and offline maps.

Indigenous knowledge,
Open source,
Environmental data management,


  • Book Chapter