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About MapChat


The MapChat was originally conceptualized as early as 2003 by Dr. G. Brent Hall, who at the time was the Dean of Computing in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. Its main purpose is to enable multiple users to share a map in a real-time discussion, with the ability to mark-up the map with drawings and link comments to locations, drawings, or features as a way of adding a spatial dimension to discussions. Development of the first version MapChat (MC1) began in 2005, serving essentially as a proof-of-concept application and learning process for the researchers involved. It has been demonstrated in several case studies conducted in communities across Canada, including:

  • Collingwood, Ontario
  • Smithers/Bulkley Valley, B.C.
  • Peel, Ontario

Development of the second version of MapChat (MC2) by Michael G. Leahy in collaboration with Dr. Hall began in early 2008. The objective was to take advantage of lessons learned from the development process of the first version and produce an application that was more stable, more interactive, and more extendible. It has been field-tested in a case study conducted in New Zealand, and is currently in-use by the Bulkley Valley community. Although MC1 never reached a mature state for release, the code for MC2 is much more controlled. An official release has not yet been made, but development snapshots are available under the GPLv3 license.


Project Contacts:

For further information about this project, to discuss opportunities to support or contribute to documentation or further development of the software, please contact:

Dr. G. Brent Hall [brent.hall at], or
Michael G. Leahy [mgleahy at]



MapChat 1

MapChat 2

Dr. G. Brent Hall Dr. G. Brent Hall [brent.hall at]
Dr. R. Feick Michael G. Leahy [mgleahy at]
Michael G. Leahy Dr. R. Chipeniuk [chipeniuk at]
David Findlay Morgan Hite [morgan at]
Taylor Nichols  
John Taranu  
Brad Noble