Cool Earth – cartographic design for humanitarian research project


Cartographic design


4 weeks




Create cartographic design style for charitable organisation to record information from direct contact with an indigenous peoples in Peru

Cool Earth is a non-profit organisation that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and its impact on climate change. Half of the world’s rainforest has been destroyed in the last 40 years. Contrary to the headlines, rainforest continues to be lost at a faster rate than ever. But it’s not too late. Cool Earth is working to save the rain forest by putting local people back in control of their forest.

Clear Mapping Company was asked to create cartographic design style in QGIS to record information on their outreach project to a protected area in Peru. The idea was to create a series of maps of the local area covering 14 square kilometres, with a fresh new brand identity style guide, which ensured that the research and data collection process could be standardised.

We decided to use the UN OCHA Humanitarian Exchange Language developed specifically to clean-up messy data classification. Being an open classification standard for humanitarian data, this will improve information sharing during crisis situations without adding extra reporting burdens. Using the same standard for collecting data on indigenous peoples will help with reporting and analysis in the future, even if the information is not shared due to the sensitivity of the spatial dataset. The symbology (key / legend) using the HXL standard has been combined with the Cool Earth Brand Identity Style Guide to ensure that the standard not only meets their current requirements, but can be expanded in future.

Cool Earth were pleased to have working QGIS files to use for the immediate data collection in Peru, get advice on best practice and to receive clear, engaging map products. The maps were printed on to clear acetate as well as paper maps, so that information such as grids and contours could be added and removed depending on the requirements on the ground. The data could then be entered into QGIS and to be able to classify their results, on their return. The maps will be used to empower local people and they in turn can be a shield against further rainforest destruction. Clear Mapping Co provided fast and sustainable results for Cool Earth to continue it’s critical work in mitigating climate change.

If you would like to have a chat about how Clear Mapping Co can work with you on your GIS project, or how to get more from your spatial data, please give us a call on 01326 337072 or email

Cool Earth

The support we received from Clear Mapping Co, enabled us think through our design needs and how best to present complex data in an understandable way, which was critical to the success of our project.

Natalie Gawor, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager