Creating a map showing all Fairphoners

Nice initiative.
Being myself into maps, I was wondering if there would be a way to get a (anonymous) list of Fairphone users with post codes and countries? I would volunteer to make a nice map with it…


@Adrien: You would have to contact the FP team directly to get an official answer to your question because the forum is mostly populated by Fairphone owners and team members seldom pass by.

However, I really like your idea and it would be great to see such a map! :slight_smile:

PS.: Did you see this topic:

Maybe you have knowledge about this, which you can share with us? :smiley:

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We did at one point (on the old forum, so a very long time ago now!) that FP should launch an app that tells you where the nearest fairphone is around you or something. It was an idea anyway, but I don’t think it went anywhere :smile:

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@Adrien, I thought about that for a long time, and suggested that to Joe a long time ago in an e-mail.

There is a reason that I did not kept asking for the data: I assume that a lot of Fairphone users are concerned about privacy matters. Even if you aggregate data on the level of postcodes, there might be some postcode districts somewhere which just have one customer. These might be very small, as (from my experience) postcode districts tend to be small in larger cities with a lot of housholds/adresses. While this is far from de-anonymising the customers in that postcode district, it might still feel a bit creepy to some customers that someone outside Fairphone has access to this data.

I might be oversensitive there. But then, also the one person owning a Fairphone in that tiny postcode district might be.

However, I pondered suggesting something to which I might as well discuss with you guys.
(I would have to look into my old e-mails - it might as well be that I already suggested that to Joe.)

If Fairphone could feed us a small example table (preferredly, a csv file) with fake data which is exactly formatted as a customer list they can easily pull from their customer database*, we could try to write a script which is working with that data to create (hopefully) perfectly reproducible maps. Just FTR, a timestamp with date of purchase would be nice, if FP has this - we could even try do do dynamic maps, then. This could probably even help Fairphone to develop some insights about their customers.

I personally would highly recommend R for mapping and analyses.I didn’t dive into Shiny yet, but this would be a perfect excuse to do so. It’s FOSS, it would be much more reproducible than any GIS application I can think of, I feel more at home with that than scripting it in any other language, and we would probably find help in the community if we ran into any problems. (Did I mention it’s FOSS? ;))

So, anyone got opinions on that?
Let me rephrase: What are your opinions on that?


Also think that there are privacy issues. What we could maybe do is to ask for location data on a voluntary base (everyone who wants can tell us where they live and we will put a flag into the map).

Your idea with writing scripts certainly sounds interesting and if you are able to do such things even better! :slight_smile: It will be a pity though, if we can’t see the maps with the real data afterwards… :frowning:

That’s not necessarily the case: a heatmap of Europe would be sufficiently coarse to be shared. And an animated GIF made out of heatmaps stacked over time would be as well possible.


Thanks for the enthusiastic answers guys

I have been thinking about privacy (hence the postcode only), but here I don’t see how it’s a problem. There is basically no way you can connect the data (postcode+anonymous fairphone owner) to a person… big or small postcode districts don’t change much. I’m keen in understanding the privacy concern here because I really don’t see how that can be problematic (or creepy).

what is the point of showing fake data? Then you don’t need a map if the only real exploitable data is the timestamp of the purchase…

Nope, thanks! I try to share some insight soon.

mmm. Not a techie myself. I was thinking of using Umap to generate the (static) map. Otherwise from all I know the reference open source mapping solution is Leaflet. It uses Open Street Map base layers…

Great that you seem ready to write some script (I can’t).
The community around leaflet is big, knowing that what we’re trying to do is the very basic stuff, that shouldn’t be too hard.

Any idea whom to ask?

The point of fake data (with the correct fields) is that you can prepare a skript based on it which works, in principle, and can be run by anyone who actually has the data. Or, as I have to do IRL, re-run when data is updated.

Mind, I am talking about static, non interactive maps.

This is going OT fast, but anyway: this is the problem I tried to describe above. While it might not be creepy for you to share your postcode with everyone/someone/me, it might be a problem for someone. You don’t have to understand it, you just have to accept the possibility that it can creep someone out.