food simple living

How to make a fruit map of your town

A few months ago we created this little website called as part of Transition Luton. It’s coming into it’s own at this time of year, so I thought I’d post a reminder.

Fruity Luton is simple interactive map of the town that shows all the places where fruit is growing in public places. You can find plums, raspberries, cherries, apples, blackberries, all growing wild in parks, on streets, on the common or in community orchards. If you know of any other fruit and nut locations, you can add a pin to the map.

Luton doesn’t have a whole lot of green space, but it’s still highly productive. I’ve got two large cherry trees just round the corner from our house, rosehips across the street, and apples, blackberries and elderberries growing down the alley. I can think of at least 10 foods growing wild within a five minute walk.

Fruity Luton was inspired by sites like Fallen Fruit, Neighborhood fruit, or the rather ambitious national fruit map at wildandedible.com, and there are lots of others. Jeff built ours specially, but they’re very easy to create within Google Maps.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Log in to your Google account if you have one, or create one.
  • Go to Google Maps.
  • Click on ‘My Maps’ in the top left corner
  • Select ‘create new map’
  • Give it a name and a description, and make sure it’s ticked as a public map.
  • Now click ‘collaborate’ above the title. That will open a new box.
  • Add some email addresses and tell your friends what the map is about. You can limit the contributors to people you choose, or let anyone add to it by ticking the appropriate box on the right.
  • Click ‘Ok’ on the collaboration box, and ‘Done’ on the map page, and that’s all the setup it needs.
  • To add things, click ‘edit’, and you can drag and place pins from the little toolbar in the top left corner.

Your map might look a little sparse as you start out, but spread the word and watch it grow. As an example, here’s a collaborative map of South London that Transition Brixton have been working on.

3 comments

  1. Great use of google maps and a top idea. Just picked some blackberries from over the back wall before I read the post. I guess fruity kilburn would be blackberry heavy and perhaps a little short of contributors, but perhaps I’ll start it anyway!

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