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Travel & Couchsurfing Maps

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While we built with public participation and citizen science in mind, we’ve found some other fun and useful ideas along the way. We were surprised to see how well the canvis platform works for hosting small couch surfing and travel networks!

Let’s say you have a small, tight-nit group of friends or colleagues you trust. Perhaps an alumni network, fellow employees at your company, or members of an online community.

You want a map that shows where members live, and whether or not they are open to hosting you, giving you a tour, or meeting for a cup of coffee ☕️. You want to make it fast and easy for people to join. With canvis you can launch something like this, in just a few minutes, for free!

Just Map It 🗺

In my graduate alumni network, we created a canvis project with 3 pages:

  1. A landing page, explaining what the network is for, who is invited, and how they can take part. We also encourage people to log in with a canvis account (not required).
  2. A mapping page, where members mark their location on the map (As accurate or inaccurate as they want) and answer a few questions.
  3. A conclusion page, saying thanks and encouraging them to stay involved, with links to relevant social media sites.

On the mapping page, we need only one layer, called “Host”. When members mark themselves as Host on the map, they answer a few questions;

  • Who are you?
  • What can you offer? (A bed / a couch / a cup of coffee / a night out / some travel advice / Other)
  • How should we contact you? (Whichever contact they feel comfortable sharing)
  • What are your interests?

The result: a simple, easy, awesome map of your network!

If I’m going on a trip, I always check the map to see who lives there and what they can offer. They key is in the simplicity. We don’t need fancy social media networks and newsletters and reviews.

All we need is a simple map, and a link we can share with the people we know and trust.

Perhaps your network has grown too large and difficult to moderate? Maybe you’d like a nice feature or enhancement? We would love to hear about it so we can make canvis as flexible and powerful as possible. Reach out!