The Story#MapMyDayWhat the international event for accessibility set into motion
What follows is the story behind the big day: how the idea came about, how people reacted and how December 3 changed our lives.
The Story#MapMyDayBe the movement
On December 3, 2015, we, the Berliner NGO Sozialhelden, launched the campaign “MapMyDay”, a worldwide mapping event carried out in cooperation with the World Health Organisation. The campaign’s aim was to raise awareness for accessibility on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is celebrated on December 3 every year.
We called upon the general public, our partners and people in our international network to join the movement for more accessibility: they were invited to use the online map Wheelmap.org to mark places in their neighborhoods as to whether or not they are accessible without steps for people with a wheelchair, walking aid or pushing a child in a stroller.
How it all beganThe WheelmapThe online map for wheelchair accessible places
The “MapMyDay” campaign was based on Wheelmap. We created the online map for wheelchair accessible places so that people who use a wheelchair or a walking aid can plan their days more easily. Anyone can find and add places worldwide at www.wheelmap.org or rate the accessibility of places using a traffic light system. The map has been online since 2010. It is also available as a free app for iOS, Android and Windows 10, making it easy to use the map on a smartphone when out and about.
By the end of November 2015 the accessibility status of some 600,000 cafés, libraries, swimming pools and many more public places could be found on Wheelmap. But this number would soon change…
The campaign launch The websiteOn the way to December 3 with www.mapmyday.org
Before the “MapMyDay” event itself, we launched a website as a central meeting point. All the necessary information for anybody interested in getting involved in the international mapping event could be found at www.mapmyday.org. The website was created and implemented by the .HenkelHiedl agency.
The website content was available in the six official United Nations languages - English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Mandarin - and German, because we aimed to reach as large an international audience as possible.
It was especially important for us that the website’s design be appealing and user friendly, inspiring visitors to participate in the mapping event. But the website would not be the only means of motivating people to take part.
A multimedia campaignThe #MapMyDay videoThe call to get involved on December 3.
Before the start of “MapMyDay” we created a campaign video explaining Wheelmap and what taking part in “MapMyDay” would involve. The video was produced in English and German by the Projektoren agency in Berlin.
See our video....
Social MediaThe movement on the internetSupport on social media with the hashtag #MapMyDay
Our call to “MapMyDay” set a great deal in motion. Just how heavily people everywhere got involved in the campaign for accessibility could be seen on the Social Wall on www.mapmyday.org, where all the posts and tweets with the #MapMyDay hashtag appeared.
Within the first 3 weeks of December more than 5,000 posts and tweets using #MapMyDay were sent.
Among them were posts from Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, USA, Canada and New Zealand. In Germany #MapMyDay was even "trending" on Twitter on December 3.
The movement on the internet
Renowned supportTestimonialsWell-known personalities for #MapMyDay
A broad spectrum of well-known personalities from the worlds of radio, television, sports and culture and from the network of activists campaigned for and promoted the event with photos and statements addressing the need for improved accessibility.
You can find all of our supporters’ statements on our Flickr-Album
The statistics A closer look
The campaign was a challenge for us behind the scenes too. We could not know in advance how many people would visit our websites and how often the apps would be downloaded. To insure that they would hold up under the strain of greatly increased traffic, we installed extra servers. The numbers proved that we were right in taking this precaution.
Numbers in motion 20.000 marked places How our expectations were greatly exceeded
On December 3 the mapping activities of people around the world showed just how much we were able to set in motion. With their smartphones and on www.wheelmap.org people near and far marked 12,000 places on the online map. By the end of the campaign, in the days before Christmas 2015, an additional 8,000 markings had been added. With that, Wheelmap had grown by a total of 20,000 new places.
Within two weeks people around the world marked more than 20,000 places green, yellow or red. This made some cities very colorful, as one can see in this before and after image of London.
On the following page we have compiled the numbers...
The statistics The marked places in detail
In the time from November 30 to December 12, 2015 a total of 21,687 places were marked. We broke these markings down into the three categories of new and updated marks and the newly added toilet markings.
On average the thousands of helpers worldwide added approximately 1,400 marks per day during the month of December 2015!
CreditsThanks a million!
We were completely overwhelmed by the many positive reactions we received. One thing is clear: without everybody’s support #MapMyDay would never have been so incredible!That is why a huge and heartfelt thanks is owed to everybody who helped out, mapped, communicated and cheered on, whether in public or in private, whether on a small or a large scale.
#MapMyDay will continue: cities, businesses and organisations are already planning their own “MapMyDay” events for 2016.
Be the movement!