Guide & Knowledge Base

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Overview

Canvis.app in a nutshell.

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In 2017, we were exploring collaborative, interactive and crowd-sourced webmaps as a method for engaging citizens on urban issues. We were inspired by the results of our pilot, but realized the current software market was geared more towards funded researchers, municipalities, and other organizations with GIS expertise and budget for an enterprise software license.

The comments, suggestions and discussions our pilot map generated were valuable... but not really worth the time and resources we spent to launch!

This is when we realized why so few people and places are deploying this wonderful, well-studied, straightforward method. So, we set out to create something easier, more affordable, and more flexible.

Our Goals

Ultimately, we want to encourage civic and community engagement and generate valuable spatial data for planners, interest groups, and other people who want to leverage the wisdom of the crowd.

This means campaigns need to be easy, cheap and quick to launch, while still offering a high degree of flexibility and control, and a great experience for both contributors, and campaign creators.

Do it yourself.

We built canvis.app as a "web-app for building web apps". This means you simply go to our homepage, create an account, and click "create campaign".

Using our knowledge base, you have access to everything you need to build and launch your crowd-sourcing campaign. Add pages, content, layers, then share!

map view settings

Many campaigns, one platform.

We hope that ease, affordability and flexibility means people choose canvis.app over building their own ad-hoc app or project.

Most major cities have hosted several crowdsourcing or citizen science campaigns-- each with it's own URL, marketing budget, and sometimes a totally custom app. On top of this, entrepreneurs and web developers have launched hundreds of apps which are nothing more than crowdsourced maps for a specific topic (e.g. PooperSnooper, YardSaleTreasureMap, FixMyStreet).

The problem is-- where can you go to find out which ones are active and ongoing in your area? Where do policy makers go to explore the data? With canvis.app, we hope to solve this problem by enabling all of these use-cases in one platform, and by showing you the campaigns happening nearby.

This means that traffic to your campaign can bring contributors to other campaigns, too. And by exploring our collection of current and archived campaigns, you can get inspiration for your next project!

Free or affordable.

Following in the footsteps of modern web-apps, we want to offer a base level of functionality, totally free. We hope that this benefits small projects, for the benefit of communities everywhere.

We cover the hosting and server costs by charging for the more advanced or high-profile campaigns. These projects might generate a large amount of traffic, or require some custom functionality which our core platform hasn't yet integrated. See our pricing page for more information.