Jiri Podhorecky’s Diary | Městská mapa kaváren v Českém Krumlově

By neub9
5 Min Read

Years ago (specifically in August 2019), I started an extraordinary project in Český Krumlov. It was the idea of ​​creating a community garden in the city, a small relaxation place where people could grow small crops, whether vegetables, garden fruits, or flowers. There was none in the city. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. It required several important things that I didn’t have, but planned to acquire. And so I spent several years working towards it.

I started collecting coffee grounds in cafes as a base for organic fertilizer for the garden. At the same time, I looked for a suitable plot of land in the city’s cadastre. I also tried to explain the intention to people. What I do, why I do it, and how it could relate to them. For over 2.5 years, I went to cafes in the city center every day. With modest means, such as buckets and sealed containers, I was able to collect over 14 cubic meters of coffee grounds. This is something that some cafes in Český Krumlov can produce much more of!

Several articles were written about my activity and experience with coffee grounds, there were many links on social networks, and a television report was made. This led to more people being inspired and also starting to use coffee grounds as garden fertilizer. However, one “triviality” was not mentioned in the articles that I did in the project. It concerns the info map for the KrumLogr project, specifically the map of Český Krumlov created in OpenStreetMap.

Years before 2018, I noticed that the map of Český Krumlov was in a completely outdated state. Not only the center of Český Krumlov, but also the nearby and distant surroundings. Reaching as far as the Šumava and the South Bohemian Region. The region simply did not have its local systematic mapper. For a random traveler looking for OSM-based maps, it must have made the first impression that there was nothing interesting in those places. But it is quite the opposite. In fact, there are plenty of interesting places there. So I set out to extensively update the map data and gradually added most places in the city, down to the smallest details.

The next step in the project was the idea of ​​how to better give information about the city to people who need it most. Primarily to tourists who were in Český Krumlov for the first time. I was a witness to the strange situation many times when a foreign tourist holds their mobile phone in their hand and desperately can’t find the hotel where they are staying. They look at the map on their phone, where they don’t see anything that would help them. The devil is in the details. Therefore, I came up with the idea to create a printed map that shows more than what people can find on their own.

To accomplish this, I exported vector content from OSM from a designated area and incorporated it into a layout assembled in the open-source software Scribus. I wanted the map to offer current and live links, so I used a public service to generate QR codes that linked to the internet, providing useful information about landmarks in Czech, German, and English. The back of the map sheet was reserved for the coffee grounds collection project with photo documentation and a blank map of the city with cafes participating in the collection marked.

After personal distribution to local cafes and displaying them on the notice board, tourists expressed interest in buying the map. This realization allowed me to improve my mapping skills and continue mapping other areas and poorly mapped places in the Czech Republic.

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