Guest Dev: Inside (and API) with Victor Temprano and the Mapster team

November 5, 2020
November 5, 2020
Victor Temprano
CEO, Mapster Tech; Founder, Native Lands Digital
Rafa Gutierrez
Support Engineer, Mapbox
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Overview was started in 2015 when activist developer Victor Temprano began mapping pipeline projects (including oil spills and protests) in Canada. In his own words: “I started to ask myself whose territories all these projects were happening on, and it just kind of expanded from there.” 

Today, the interactive map includes a wealth of crowdsourced geospatial data, including polygons for indigenous territories, languages, and treaties across several continents. encourages discussions of colonization, land rights, language, and Indigenous history tied to our personal histories. receives over 700,000 visits on holidays like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, National Aboriginal Day, or Canada Day – and it encourages complicated and necessary discussions across the world.

You’ll learn:

  • How to build data and mapping workflows for researchers who are not developers
  • How to manage “going viral” when user interest spikes
  • How to use Mapster’s WP Mapbox GL JS Maps plugin for WordPress
  • How to manage crowdsourced data about disputed issues
  • How to think about land experientially, as an alternative to western nation states’ “obsession with overhead maps” – ie, when you no longer know the names of mountains, or speak the language of the people
  • Best practices and considerations for Indigenous land acknowledgement

About Victor Temprano

Victor G Temprano is the owner and founder of Mapster, a Vancouver-based startup focused on mapping and front-end design. He founded in 2017 after mapping pipeline development projects in Canada, including protests, spills, and more. He began researching what Indigenous land these projects were happening on, and ultimately created to engage non-Indigenous people (like himself), in Indigenous history in a friendly and interesting way. In his own words:

“Indigenous people already know their territory — it was the ‘settlers’ who needed to have a look at the information I was collecting. I wanted people to have Indigenous names and lands in mind as they went about their days.”

About Native Land Digital

Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. Native Land Digital is Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Executive Director and Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization. Numerous non-Indigenous people also contribute as members of our Advisory Council. The Board of Directors govern finances, set priorities, and appoint staff members as required.

About Mapster 

Mapster makes awesome, impactful apps. We work with all kinds of web projects and clients, but the ultimate goal is to fund apps and projects that increase useful dialogue on social issues and improve our world. Our business has two main prongs: mapping, and working with non-profits generally. We are happy to take on for-profit projects, and we specialize in spatial work, but we are also driven by a deep desire to do meaningful things. We are experts at website building in general — especially when it comes to heavy interactivity. Get in touch with any questions or project ideas you might have.


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