How do Makers organize and collaborate? How do they create value and impact? What is the role of Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPS) in enabling them?
MAKE-IT tackles these questions through different research methods and with the development of technological innovations, such as the interactive Technology Radar (also called TechRadar) that describes the current and future technology developments or trends that will impact how makers create, communicate, organize and might even do business.
The TechRadar has been developed in order to help anybody discover the Maker movement through its technologies and platforms for example, for students who are becoming makers, and so on. This tool helps to understand the uses and impacts of CAPS in different contexts, as well as of the Maker movement itself, and maker technology developed and/or used by makers. The TechRadar is built with open source components and it is open source itself, so everybody in the Maker community can add and update the content.
TechRadar provides state-of-the-art overviews of:
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and
- related applications developed and/or used by makers.
And consists of 3 sections:
- The Trends page contains a list of trends relevant to the maker movement currently available in the radar. These trends were identified by the MAKE-IT project, but like all content can be edited by anybody. When reading about a trend, all technologies (digital fabrication tools and ICT) associated with this trend are listed and shown on the Radar with scores on different dimensions and future development indicated with faded dots.
- The Platforms page allows users to navigate and search the available platforms within the radar. For example, a user can look here for specific technologies/platforms e.g. for team collaboration, product commercialization or for exploring what kind of funding possibilities are available. When logged in with a GitHub account, the Platforms page also contains a button to invite visitors to add new content. A new page will open with a simple form to suggest a new platform to the radar.
- The Radar page is a visual presentation based on the categorisations and dimension scores presented in the other two sections. This page is intended mainly for research, but everyone is welcome to explore it. On the Radar page, the radar is here fully interactive, and enables users to group (filter) by category, a certain dimension (score), etc., and thereby change the layout of it. In the settings menu, the user can add or change filters e.g. only show the technologies that are being used by innovators or from one technology category. The settings menu can be used to change which dimensions will be used on each axis, for the size and colour. Updating these settings is directly reflected in the radar and in the legends underneath the settings. When a dimension is chosen in the filter settings, the legends specify what size and colour each stage or rating is given. The legend on the right side explains the dimensions used in the radar.
Remember that the TechRadar is open source itself and it is available on GitHub at https://github.com/Make-IT-TR/TechRadar under the MIT License. The issues section of the repository will be used as a collaboration tool to discuss future work.