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This is a term I created in 2008 to encompass the ideas of mapping and beholding. In Italian mappare means “to map” and m’appare “something appears to me”.

As far as I know, the term m(‘)appare was proposed for the first time by myself in March 2008, during the launch of the  M(‘)appare Milano, mapping campaign, when I was collaborating with (the Italian chapter of the Open Soruce Geospatial Consortium).

This term was created to have a localized version of the “mapping parties” held by the OpenStreetMap community and which in Italy had previously taken place in  Alto Adige,  Pavia and Arezzo.

The Italian free/open mapping community liked the term and the concept of m(‘)appare, and re-used this with on m(‘)appare, Ferrara, Portofino, Verona, and Mounte Antola, near to Genova.

I also had several opportunities to present and debate the ideas related to m(‘)appare in various events (Creative Commons Festival Parma, Politecnico ed Ecomuseo Urbano Milano Nord a Milano, IUAV Venezia, GRASS meeting Lugano, GFOSS Day Bolzano). As a sidebar action, videos and rhymes related to m(‘)appare appeared (Riflessioni sul tema(tismo)  , Allora vi faccio vedere come ho fatto, Pressioni di Settembre e Renato lo Scienziato).

Not just geomatics processes and points of interest

After a first phase of m(‘)appare, mostly focused on geomatics and digital land maps, the topic became broader, and we started talking about mapping the upper half of the landscape (i.e. the night sky), leading to the BuioMetria Partecipativa. project on participatory monitoring of light pollution.

Eventually we started to use the term m(‘)appare non just with reference to things and places, but also to people (e.g. the  m(‘)appare Maurizio Bacci event during the Farma Valley Winter Fest in December 2016).

In a nutshell

As we can see it after ten years, the scope of m(‘)appare is on engaging people to see things or places with a bottom-up approach, focusing mostly in things and places which are not very known.

The two main m(‘)appare initiatives to date are:

More info:



 is a small non-governmental organization, namely a “societal promotion association”, according to Italian legislation.

I created in 2011 in partnership with three colleagues, two other environmental engineers and an archaeologists, to give a legal status, a social security code and a bank account to the “stuff” which I started proposing in 2006, in parallel to my job as a geographic information systems specialist/project manager.

In 2019, with the national reform of the non-profit sector in Italy, we have been forced to put the association in a “hibernation” state. In parallel, several of the activities which were initiated with it have now matured into actual professional services, which you may find inserted in the Services page of the network.

I’d like to recall that, at present, is a largely self-funded effort. For this reason, I invite you to support it by checking out the page “support us” page and committing to at least one of the three actions indicated therein.