WorldMap’s mission is to improve Harvard researcher’s access to GIS data and tools. Because much of the best data is hosted outside Harvard, WorldMap takes the approach of providing the global community with a platform that people both inside and outside Harvard will use to publish, share and connect their own data layers with other data available publicly online.

WorldMap’s business model follows from this approach:

  • Grant Funding supplies the main resources for development of the WorldMap system.

  • Users contribute funding to develop specific capabilities of the system that meets their particular needs; then everyone else can use those for free. "First ask, first pay."
  • Heaviest users of the system may be asked to help share operational costs.

  • WorldMap also benefits from the global Open Source developer community by building on core projects such as Django, GeoNode, GeoServer, OpenLayers, ExtJS, GeoNetwork, PostGIS, and GDAL.