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Start Network, Start Network Map

Data mapping the funding for international crises

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Fellow CoTech members Agile Collective approached us to collaborate on improving Start Network’s mapping tool.

Start Network is an international humanitarian network of 42 leading NGOs working together to quickly fund relief for small to medium-sized crises. Their map is a key way that donors, supporters and members find out about current, past and anticipatory funding alerts.

Agile Collective were keen to work with us because of our experience of creating previous interactive map tools, like Tranquil Pavement, JMP, and School Cuts.

Their expertise is Drupal, while we are specialists in data visualisation and exploration, so it was great to pool our skills for this project.

User research and exploration

We spent some time really getting to grips with what Start Network do, so that we could fully understand what would be helpful to them. We also carried out a number of user interviews to find out what their key audience needed and how we might be able to make their jobs easier.

We quickly realised that Start Network’s existing map needed quite a bit of work, so we opted to start again from scratch and design a new interface.

Design and prototyping

We next embarked on an R&D sprint, taking a detailed look at lots of existing interactive maps to see what features worked well and could be applied to Start Network’s map. We soon realised that they had lots of data to show, so we made the map configurable to the user so they could choose the information that is relevant to their query.

Once we had identified useful features we went about prototyping using Adobe XD, creating a clickable prototype and high fidelity designs before going into the build phase of the new map.

We loved working with Start Network and Agile Collective and hope to collaborate with them again on another data visualisation project.

“The Start Network is committed to transparency and we are delighted to go further than simply publishing information with this fantastic mapping tool.

“This new tool helps members and others access that information quickly and customise it to find the information most useful to them. So, if you want to know how many responses for flooding there has been in one country, how much was awarded, and how many people were helped, you can now do that easily and quickly on our new map!” – Christos Papaioannou, Head of Start Funds