Developed in collaboration with Fundació Arrels, Open Papers arose in response to a lack of workflows and tools for organizing, monitoring and handling large-scale datafication processes. The project is founded on the power of paper maps and forms when it comes to collective data compilation. When used for this purpose, mobile technology sometimes results in missing information due to GPS inaccuracy or improper use of the technology by volunteers.
With Open Papers, any organization can divide the city into ad hoc zones, automatically generate a paper atlas for each team of volunteers containing a map of the area to be explored and a worksheet for gathering data, and digitalize the resulting information through image recognition.
While we developed the project for a specific purpose – a census of the homeless – it is universal in nature and can be used for similar collective processes, such as participatory urban design and citizen science.