What do Wikipedia, Zip Car’s business model, Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and a small group of lobster fishermen have in common? They all show the power and promise of human cooperation in transforming our businesses, our government, and our society at large. Because today, when the costs of collaborating are lower than ever before, there are no limits to what we can achieve by working together.

-Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School


LocalWiki for Food Systems Collaboration

LocalWiki is a digital tool with potential for solving some of the information-sharing difficulties of complex food systems work. It is an online wiki platform, like Wikipedia, but it is place-based. For example, Blacksburg has a LocalWiki, so does Floyd County, so does Richmond. It is easy for anyone to add information to wikis like these. Organizations can create a page, locate their office on a GIS map, and link to or upload resources they have created. The information can be easily categorized and searched later—much like searching Wikipedia. A user can find information in a given area—from a local neighborhood all the way to the global.

Some Features of LocalWiki:          

·         Free and Open Access (Creative Commons licensing)

·         Easy to input and edit information (“like writing an email”)

·         Easy-to-use mapping features

·         Open Source (The platform can be modified, as needed, to meet emergent needs)

·         Clean API (Developers can build apps to work with the information)

Upcoming Opportunities for Learning and Using Localwiki

Facilitated Online Editing – Provided by Appalachian Virginia Food Systems Network & Appalachian Foodshed Project

March 23rd (Wed.) 1-3pm

March 31st (Thu.) 2-4pm

            Log-in information: https://virginiatech.webex.com/join/pdadamer

In these sessions, partners from the AVFSN/AFP will be available to work with you on LocalWiki. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been experimenting with it, join us.


For more information about LocalWiki in SW Virginia, please contact Phil D’Adamo-Damery at pdadamer@vt.edu


Examples of how LocalWiki can work


  • A very developed wiki: Oakland, CA
    • See the power of the mapping feature by clicking on the map on the main page.
    • By clicking your way through this map, you can find out all kinds of specific information about Oakland, from murals to non-profits to community events.
    • You can see how maps can be linked to information/content
  • See how "Tagging" pages can be used to categorize and find information
    • Click this link.
      • This will take you to a working list or organizational pages that have been tagged, "Appalachian Virginia Foodshed."
    • If you follow one of these links, (for example, Feeding America Southwest Virginia) you will see at the bottom of the page, that there is a light blue "tag" that reads, Appalachian Virginia Foodshed.
    • While you're on a page like Feeding America SWVA, notice the map at the top right corner of the page.
  • A Demo Project from March 18th, 2016 Convening

    • Find your organization on this list. If listed, click on your organization
      • Go down to the bottom of the page, click the gray button that either reads, edit tags or add tags.
      • In the textbox, type the following tag: AVFSNMarch16. Click the gray "Save" button.
      • Click here to see the list of organizations at the March 18, 2016 AVFSN Convening.
  • Regional examples to visit

Some information about working in LocalWiki

LocalWiki Nuts and Bolts

You, yes you reading this, can help us build LocalWiki in southwest Virginia. There are some ropes to learn, but they are pretty straightforward, especially if you have spent much time doing things like writing emails. You can visit this page for a very basic introduction to working in LocalWiki. The Champaign-Urbana LocalWiki has some more in-depth info in their guide.

Add an Organization

Do you want to add a new organization? This general organizational template might be helpful. To use, copy and paste it into the new page.

Add a new County

Do you want to add a new county, town, or city? Go to this page. Since SW VA is rural we think adding counties is the best approach.

Tagging Vocabulary

Find and add tags to this vocabulary. The link is to the vocabulary that is being used across Central Appalachia.