DotCoop has launched a comprehensive interactive map that lists all co-ops with the .coop domain.
The Global .coop Directory and Map Project is the result of a collaboration between DotCoop and the Solidary Economy Association (SEA) to showcase co-operative businesses and improve their visibility in the community. The map uses the same Linked Data technology that SEA used for its regional mapping projects in Oxford and the North East of England.
Co-ops that have the DotCoop domain will automatically be featured on the page.
The map updates on a weekly basis. This means that whenever someone purchases DotCoop domain and gets verified, the entry gets added on the map.
Discussions around a global mapping of co-ops started at the 2017 edition of the Open Co-op Conference in London, says Tom Ivey, community development manager at DotCoop. The organisation is the global steward of the .coop top-level domain, and the co-op marque.
“The map shows different organisations from different countries and a wide variety of sectors, what links them together is their co-op identity,” he said.
“Co-ops do cover the whole globe, from Alaska, across Americas, Europe, Africa, India, Indonesia, Australia or Japan, you can see that we are a really global movement. Our identity expands across the whole globe.”
People can also use the map to find businesses in their area and connect with them, added Mr Ivey.
Colm Massey, the chair of the Solidarity Economy Association, added: “We first presented our research into best practice in data sharing and mapping for the Solidarity Economy & Co-op movements at Open 2017. At Open 2018, the subject was a central theme, where we joined DotCoop on a plenary panel on the subject. Since then, we have developed tools and standards for sharing data about co-operatives using ‘Linked Data’ technology to publish information on the web in a way that makes this data highly ‘interoperable’.
“For DotCoop, we take their database of .coop registrations, merge the entries so that it is easier to identify each co-op’s registered domains and display them in an easily searchable map and directory application. The data is compatible with other directories we have already published as well as soon to be published directories from several co-op federations and regional maps of local co-op solidarity economies.”
DotCoop is currently working with other mapping partners to explore how it could link the map to other mapping projects, using open data to interlink the co-operative economy.