Using Google Maps for collective purchasing

Card's author : Fran├žoise Viala
Card's type of licence : Creative Commons BY-SA
Testimonies : This tool was created after a reflection process in the association Pic'assiette, on how to give visibility to citizen initiatives on group purchasing.

How it works

It is not the association creating the groups, but the association does invite citizens or producers to join their closest group, or even to create a new group. Citizens who do not know each other give their contact information and then Pic'assiette puts them in contact using their geographical location.
The idea was therefore to:
  • show something that already existed to a new audience and also to groups that already existed. Indeed, between Nimes and Montpellier there are several groups that don't know about each other. Each group has its own way of doing things, its own set of questions, but there is no exchanging.
  • create a link, exchanging between groups!
This really does work thanks to events that are organised independently, without the association Pic'assiette intervening.
Beyond creating a link, the aim is to reflect collectively on how to help diversify the output of producers and make it last without falling back on the same group of people the whole time.
Everyone is free to participate without need to register for references. The referencing part has mostly been done already by the association Pic'assiette, which took the time to meet and exchange with the groups close to Montpellier; then the groups met and managed their own meeting times, their agendas, etc…totally independently.
The tool was used as a model to create a reference map for citizen collective purchases in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon. (http://site-coop.net/gaclr/)
The main advantage of this type of maps is that it makes an initiative visible very quickly.

Some points to bear in mind:

  • They must be updated
  • People need to be trained
  • There must be facilitation. The tool is not sufficient in itself, it must be made known to people at stands, open doors.

What next?

The second stage is to reference the tools allowing to place an order, all the tasks and actions required for the group to continue in time. The association has participated in Moustic Gathering to make this whole process even more collective and collaborative.