Hello, Smol Maps

For the last few months I’ve been working on a new prototype application for Smol Data. This was inspired by my participation in the Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism, where I gave a workshop on offline mapping (written up here and here). It was an intense experience, but I had a lot of fun, and I got to meet Taeyoon‘s parents, who are just as great as you might expect. Thanks to E. Roon Kang and Wonyoung So for organizing the workshop, and Achim Koh for translating my essay into Korean.

Since then, I’ve been slowly improving on the code, which I’ve been using to help navigate my way around Troy, NY (where I live now). I gave another workshop, based on the one in Seoul, for the Albany chapter of CoderDojo and then another one for Mimi’s class at Bennington College.

The upshot to all of this is that I’ve been talking about Smol Maps a whole lot lately, and haven’t been writing about much on this website. After some consideration, I’ve decided to port the code from its current PHP implementation to an in-progress node.js version.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Porting the code will let me properly snapshot and explain how each part of the map works. Keep an eye on the releases page.
  • node.js works with Glitch, which is such a lovely project, and a great way to reach new coders.
  • I’d like to release Smol Maps as an Electron app, which runs on node.js.

The documentation is pretty minimal at this point, but give it a try, and let me know what breaks!