MapX was developed by UN Environment, the World Bank and the Global Resource Information Database (GRID-Geneva) to capitalize on the use of new digital technologies and cloud computing in the sustainable management of natural resources. One of the founding principles was to equalize information held by different stakeholders as a prerequisite to better dialogue, decision making and monitoring. MapX evolved from an initial focus on extractive resources to include a range of different resource types and themes.
We offer impartial and independent mapping and monitoring of natural resources
Our mission is to support the sustainable use of natural resources by increasing access to the best available geospatial information, technology and monitoring tools.
We aim to eliminate the fragmentation of spatial information and provide a trusted platform for data sharing, analysis and visualization.
The availability of quality, accessible, open, timely and disaggregated data is vital for evidence based decision-making and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and realization of its ambitions of leaving no one behind.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, 2018
Helping stakeholders access and use the best available data in dialogue and decision making processes is not easy. It requires both a technical approach as well a political process and capacity building to ensure ownership, uptake and action. Our philosophy in developing a stakeholder solution is based on the practical experiences gained in deploying MapX in a range of different contexts. Core elements include:
Start with the problem users wish to solve not the available data. Ensure solutions are fit for purpose.
build stakeholder capacity
Local stakeholders need the capacity to support the solution in the longer term.
Measure Incentives and impact
Understand how improved access to data changes behavioral incentives and leads to improved impact
address barriers to uptake
Anticipate barriers to data use and work to remove or mitigate them from the the outset of an engagement.
A credible process to define a problem and explore solutions using geospatial information is a critical success factor.
Think beyond open data
An effective solution should harness a combination of open data as well as private data held by different stakeholders.
Our engagement process
The MapX engagement process focuses on generating actionable insights from geospatial data to inform dialogue and help all stakeholders understand benefits and risks, manage expectations and take evidence-based decisions. While MapX can be customized to meet specific contexts, a standard engagement process is used:
Start by defining the problem users wish to solve and understanding how to design the necessary process and data for a solution
Work hand in hand with all key stakeholders to co-design a data acquisition process and build a platform fit for purpose platform.
MapX team develops a customized solution, including data sets, visualizations, and dashboards.
The platform is deployed into a stakeholder process and training is delivered to ensure uptake and impact.
MapX was initially co-founded and co-directed by Ozong Agborsangaya-Fiteu of the World Bank and David E. Jensen of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Nicolas Ray (UNEP/GRID-Geneva) was the first technical director. Frederic Moser (UNEP/GRID-Geneva) is the lead developer since version 2.0. Inga Petersen was the first business development manager. Marion Planque and Theresa Dearden also played key roles in the early development of MapX. As part of internal streamlining of digital capacities, the management of MapX was transferred to UNEP/GRID-Geneva on 1st January 2020 with Pierre Lacroix being the programme manager, in close relation with the implementation of the World Environment Situation Room under the leadership of Pascal Peduzzi (Director, UNEP/GRID-Geneva).
Meet the MapX team
Our team includes highly qualified experts in environmental monitoring and geospatial data management.