In the wake of the NETmundial Initiative Council working meeting (Stanford Communique), the GovLab is pleased to announce the beta release of the NETmundial Solutions Map for further public comment (from April 1 -May 1, 2015). The release is the culmination of a 6-month engagement and development strategy to ensure that the tool reflects input from a diverse set of global stakeholders. The NETmundial Solutions Map is co-developed by the GovLab and Second Rise, and is facilitated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The tool is designed to support information sharing and collaboration across Internet governance issues. It will serve as a repository of information that links issues, actors, solutions and resources, and help users understand the current landscape of Internet governance.

Today, information about internet governance is scattered and hard to find. At the same time we need more coordination and collaboration to address specific issues. The Map seeks to facilitate a more collaborative and distributed way of solving Internet governance issues by providing users with a baseline of what responses already exist and who is working on what — Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development of the GovLab, Chief of Research of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance.

The need to create a tool that facilitates information-sharing and improves coordination was identified by both the NETmundial São Paulo meeting and the Ilves report:NETmundial Roadmap (Section II #4) “It would be recommendable to analyze the option of creating Internet governance coordination tools to perform on-going monitoring, analysis, and information-sharing functions.”

President Ilves’ Report Call To Action: “to map issues to existing DG groups and provide assistance in the implementation of existing DG groups’ solutions”

During the first phase of the design process, the GovLab conducted one-on-one interviews and an online survey to determine user needs in collecting information related to Internet governance. In the second phase, we invited experts and the public at large to participate in guided demonstrations and feedback sessions of the Map prototype. These were presented as use case scenarios using the 5 issue areas that have been populated with sample data (broadband deployment, DNS security, IPV6, online child pornography, and online gambling).

We used the feedback from these sessions to make continuous improvements to the design of the Map.

Finally, the GovLab also conducted a comprehensive analysis of some of the existing projects that aim to map the Internet governance landscape, and connected the key initiatives in a “Network of Internet Governance Mappers.” The goal for this group is to share best practices and key findings, with a specific focus on complementing each other’s efforts and seeking spaces for collaboration and content sharing.

This beta version of the NETmundial Solutions Map seeks to explore how to map the Internet governance landscape in a useful and sustainable way. Future revisions will continue to be guided by community feedback.

To this end, we welcome your comments on the following (period runs till May 1st):

  • What do you feel works well in the map?
  • What needs improving?
  • How can the map help you in your work?
  • Would you want to be part of the next version as a content provider?