kimberley crofts


an information and communication designer living in London

Collaborative mapping

The Open Accessible Space Information System (OASIS) project began in 2000 as a way for the USDA Forest Service to map the open spaces of New York City. The first part of the project saw almost 40 different groups of educators, green groups, businesses, and agencies gathering and sharing data to create a huge geo-data mashup. The maps have been recently updated and the project is excellently summarised in a post at the Urban Omnibus.

The maps are used by many different groups to visualise transport routes, green open spaces, land use, population data, leisure centres, wildlife areas, school districts, and countless other data sets about the built and natural environment of the city of New York.

Open Street Map is a similar initiative, but there is not as much shared data on this site, as yet. Greenmaps is a open source sustainable mapping and social networking tool (London map not as yet published). MapTube allows users to overlay different maps of London including those covering population, transport, and crime.


The Londonist has a good list of user-created and alternative maps of London including maps of historical places, food markets, and transport details. One such map, which is of interest to me as I am about to move to London, is Where-can-I-live. You type in where you need to commute to, how much time you want to spend commuting, how much rent you can afford, and the site shows you the best places to live.



Filed under: mapping, public, , , , , ,

Culturally-specific icon design

I have just bought a new sewing machine. I am very excited as I have always had very old ones handed down from Grandmothers and mothers. Having a new one will mean I will stop buying mass produced clothes, so even though it is a new product, I feel ok about it.

Whilst I was in the shop, being attended to by a very helpful assistant, I noticed this icon set on a fancier machine. I guess it is about speed control, but would I know this if I was from another country? Is the hare and the tortoise story (attributed to Aesop) a universally known fable?


Filed under: icon design, product design, , ,

English village names and car share schemes

The novelty of laughing at the names of English villages will never wear off I think. Today we hopped in our Commonwheels share car to take my parents, recently arrived from Australia, around the Cotswolds. This sign was one of the best of the day:


We have been part of a car sharing scheme and have really only used it three or four times since January, mainly for when our family has come over and we have wanted to see a bit of the English countryside. Our bicycles are more than sufficient for everyday life—including the weekly food shop—but having access to a car is sometimes a good thing.

If you are a car addict (or just need to use one every now and then) I highly recommend investigating car share schemes. The way it works is that you pay a small registration fee and then book a car online. The car sits at an agreed location in your community and each car share scheme member has a pass card that allows you to gain access to the car. The keys are in the glove compartment. All bills arrive online.

In the UK you have ones such as Commonwheels (that we use), National Car Share, Zip Car, Street Car.

There is also Liftshare, for those who would just like to share a ride with someone who is going their way.

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Kevin *#*%! Rudd

Greenpeace launch a campaign ‘Dirty Kev‘ in Australia telling the prime minister that his name will be used in vain if he does a dirty deal on climate change at Copenhagen. Kevin Rudd will become the new swear word of choice. via Oscoio


Filed under: activism, environment, , ,

Thom Yorke plays the Age of Stupid launch

Thom York performing ‘Reckoner’ as part of the Age of Stupid film launch. The film calls for a global wake up to how our wasteful behaviour is increasing the risk of catastrophic climate change:

Filed under: activism, behaviour, environment, film, music, , , ,

Niemann’s New York Cheat Sheets

Christopher Niemann shows us all how to master the art of living in New York by way of these sweet little graphics. Thanks New York Times.

It is nice to see that someone shares my feelings about Kandinsky.

“It is always great to visit the Museum of Modern Art, but I have pretty strong likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. And I have a hard time enjoying a beloved painting while being irritated by another, less beloved piece of art. If you happen to share my preferences, I suggest the following:

“In Room 1 on the fifth floor, stand exactly in between Gauguin’s “Seed of the Areoi” (1) and Braque’s “Landscape at La Ciotat” (2). Turn east, facing Room 5, and you will be able to enjoy two wonderful Klimts (“Hope II” and “The Park”) (3) without being annoyed by the pointless Kandinskys (4), to the left, and Chagall’s disturbing cow (5), to the right.”


Filed under: illustration, infographics, , , , ,

New business cards part 1.

This is going to take a while, but I am loving. I found the Linotype Futura collection at the department and got busy with some ego-alphabetica… Do you think having all Ks is too much? More pics on my Flickr. More pics to come after tomorrow.


Filed under: personal, typography, , ,

Good instead of evil

A recent post on the glut of ‘design for good’ blogs and organisations from David Stairs at Design Altruism has sent a shiver of guilt through my designer polo-necked spine (not that I am wearing one, but you get the idea). Is my blog just adding to the noise? What am I actually DOING about the problems I see in the world. He pleads for more designers who are ready and able to put in the hard yards to do real work, not just tweet about their interest in the issues (point taken).

For the record, I am a designer that is more than ready to put down the mouse and get her ‘boots dirty’, but only if my skills can be of actual help. I know my limits. Anyone want to employ me?

(thanks to Kate Andrews for pointing me toward this post)

Filed under: advocacy, design for good, , ,


If you are in London or surrounds and interested in issues of sustainability, check out these two events staged as part of the 2009 London Design Festival. You need to register to attend these events put on by Greengaged.


Design for life: barriers to behaviour change (curated by Ed Gillespie)
September 21, 2009. 8.30am to 10pm (includes a Swishing clothes swapping event after 7pm)
Why is change happening so slowly? What are the barriers to change, both behaviourally and in the context of design? Where can great design interventions really make a difference? This will be a day of challenges, questions and opportunities around the role of design in what we wear, what we eat, where we live and how we get around

Co-oportunity: a day for world builders (curated by John Grant)
September 22. 9am-6pm

Co-opportunity is about how co-operative, community systems have the potential to build a more sustainable, resilient, prosperous society at all levels – working for the common good. In John’s engaging approach to workshops you will learn about co-operative systems by actually creating solution – starting with the world’s financial banking system – as an example of the power of systems redesign.

Filed under: behaviour, environment, events, , ,


I am in the midst of creating a new website/portfolio. In the meantime you can check out some of my work on my Flickr site.

Here are some images of my exhibition for the MA Information Design final show.

Filed under: personal, Uncategorized,

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photos