P2P Foundation: Researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices

The P2P Foundation website is a terrific resource for anyone interested in peer-to-peer practices and collaboration, both in the university and beyond.

From their mission statement:

The Foundation for P2P Alternatives proposes to be a meeting place for those who can broadly agree with the following propositions, which are also argued in the essay or book in progress, P2P and Human Evolution:

  • that technology reflects a change of consciousness towards participation, and in turn strengthens it
  • that the networked format, expressed in the specific manner of peer to peer relations, is a new form of political organizing and subjectivity, and an alternative for the political/economic order, which though it does not offer solutions per se, points the way to a variety of dialogical and self-organizing formats, i.e. it represents different processes for arriving at such solutions; it ushers in a era of “non-representational democracy”, where an increasing number of people are able to manage their social and productive life through the use of a variety of autonomous and interdependent networks and peer circles
  • that it creates a new public domain, an information commons, which should be protected and extended, especially in the domain of common knowledge creation; and that this domain, where the cost of reproducing knowledge is near zero, requires fundamental changes in the intellectual property regime, as reflected by new forms such as the free software movement
  • that the principles developed by the free software movement, in particular the General Public License, provides for models that could be used in other areas of social and productive life
  • that it reconnects with the older traditions and attempts for a more cooperative social order, but this time obviates the need for authoritarianism and centralization; it has the potential of showing that the new egalitarian digital culture, is connected to the older traditions of cooperation of the workers and peasants, and to the search for an engaged and meaningful life as expressed in one’s work, which becomes an expression of individual and collective creativity, rather than as a salaried means of survival
  • that it offers youth a vision of renewal and hope, to create a world that is more in tune with their values; that it creates a new language and discourse in tune with the new historical phase of “cognitive capitalism”; P2P is a language which every “digital youngster” can understand. However, ‘peer to peer theory’ addresses itself not just to the network-enabled and to knowledge workers, but to the whole of civil society, and to whoever agrees that the core of decision-making should be located in civil society, and not in the market or in the state.
  • it combines subjectivity (new values), intersubjectivity (new relations), objectivity (an enabling technology) and interobjectivity (new forms of organization) that mutually strengthen each other in a positive feedback loop, and it is clearly on the offensive and growing, but lacking “political self-consciousness”. It is this form of awareness that the P2P Foundation wants to promote.

First semester…

I have to admit that my first week in college was intimidating and exciting at the same time. My biggest challenge was definitely participating in class, speaking and putting my opinions out there.
As for my biggest success it took a while, but for me realizing that it doesn’t matter if you have the right answer, putting it out there is the most important thing. It opens up the discussion and leads to getting the right answer or an unexpected insight.
It is still a chore, but it is becoming easier each time!


WorldMap, developed by the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) at Harvard, is a web-based platform to enable scholars to work with geospatial information.

Intended to fill a niche between big GIS applications and lightweight map interfaces, WorldMap can be used as a tool to visualize, edit, collaborate, and publish maps. When publishing a map, you can provide an abstract and other relevant information, making this a particularly apt scholarly tool. Additionally, you can choose to publish the map for the public, or share it only with a few collaborators.

With WorldMap, you can also work with large datasets, overlay them with thousands of other layers, export data, link maps to rich media content, and georeference paper maps online via WorldMap WARP.

WorldMap is an open-source platform with full source code available here. The developers are interested in engaging with users of the tool and in expanding on its functionality.

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Exhibit: Data-Rich Interactive Webpages

Exhibit is an open-source software implemented through JavaScript that you can include in your webpage. This can be integrated into whatever CMS you are using and works entirely on the client browser.

This free tool lets you easily create an interactive webpage with interactive maps and timelines, text search and filtering, and the possibility to create additional visualizations. Because of its ability to integrate geospatial and temporal mapping, Exhibit would be a great choice for historians.

There is a full tutorial available here, and the source code is available on GitHub.

The screenshot below is from a US Presidents example, available here.

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Lynda.com – Mapping Workshops & More

Repost from Graduate Center library blog: http://gclibrary.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2015/02/23/gc-library-offers-new-way-learn-technology-lynda-com/lynda-for-postWant to become a more expert user of WordPress, Excel, or Photoshop? Need to learn SPSS, CSS, or ArcGIS? Can’t make the in-person workshops offered by the Library, the Digital Fellows, and others? Then we have just the training tool for you!

The Graduate Center Library now subscribes to lynda.com, a portal of over 130,000 video tutorials on topics such as web design, programming, data analysis, instructional design, and media production. For most topics, lynda.com offers not just one training video but a whole series of videos providing hours of detailed instruction.

You can browse the full range of subjects and software covered, but here are a few topics we think might interest the GC community:

Using lynda.com: Access lynda.com on the library’s alphabetical list of databases. The first time you visit the site, you’ll be prompted to create a free lynda.com account, which will allow you to save playlists, view your history, and more.

Off-site access: As with all our databases, you can access lynda.com from anywhere, not just from inside the Graduate Center. When you’re off site, you’ll be prompted to log in with your GC network username and password. Once you enter your GC credentials, you’ll then be prompted to log in to your free lynda.com account.


Information Aesthetics Weblog

Inspired by Lev Manovich’s definition of “information aesthetics”, the Information Aesthetics Weblog explores the symbiotic relationship between creative design and the field of information visualization. More specifically, it collects projects that represent data or information in original or intriguing ways.

The posts tagged “city map” have beautiful and inspirational visualizations of everything from taxi trips in NYC to language usage maps of London and NYC.



Map of this Site’s Structure


This is a visual representation of the relationship between the different sites on this website, Mapping the Futures of Higher Education.

You are currently visiting one of the child sites, Resources, which is hosted on the same server as the mother site, Mapping the Futures of Higher Education.

Mother Site: The main website for the class. Contains both the “mother blog,” and all of the groups — for instance, the graduate student group and individual groups for each class.

Child Site: For instance, a class site, or the resources site. A list of all child sites can be found here.

Image by Futures Initiative Fellow Kalle Westerling.


Timeline is a widget that you can use on the web to visualize temporal data. It does not take too much room on the page, but scrolls back and forth. Users can also click on points on the timeline to show a popup with more information. This is free, open-source software with the full source code available here. Although this requires some knowledge of web development, there is a Getting Started guide on their wiki here, that will walk you through the process. Learn more about this project and play with the interactive timeline on the Timeline website.

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