Mapas Culturais is a free software for collaborative mapping and culture management that contributes both to qualify the public management by promoting greater efficiency, and to update them to the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The system is powered in two ways: by the government, which inserts information on the platform on cultural facilities, official programs, public bidding etc.; and the general population, who sign up as a cultural agent (individual or collective) and may promote their own programs.
In parallel with the decentralized logic in data publishing is the hierarchical management – culture managers have the ability to mediate relations, contacts and publication of information performed on the platform, stimulate exchanges and solve the challenges that arise. The tool incorporates the public processes of logic of free software, collaboration, decentralization, the use of open data and transparency. In addition, it strengthens the National Culture Plan, because it contributes to the implementation and monitoring of some of its goals and the goals of the state and municipal plans.
In October 2015, Mapas Culturais was adopted by the National System for Cultural Information and Indicators (SNIIC), which allows the systems integration. The Ministry of Culture, by means of the General Coordination of Monitoring Cultural Informations, offers support to states and municipalities which wish to implement Mapas Culturais. This support is given through technological infrastructure, distance training and other backing materials. The initiative is the result of a partnership between Instituto TIM and the Ministry of Culture and resulted in the creation of four platforms from Mapas Culturais software: the Cultura Viva Network platform, which brings together data and addresses of Culture Points; the Museus BR map, the biggest platform of museums information in Brazil; Mapa das Bibliotecas, Public Library National System mapping; and Mapa da Cultura, that integrates data from the three platforms and SNIIC.
The system was created in partnership with the São Paulo Municipal Department of Culture, the first municipality to adopt the platform (SP Cultura). Currently, Mapas Culturais is also in operation in the states of Ceará (Mapa Cultural do Ceará), Tocantins (Mapa da Cultura do Tocantins), Mato Grosso (Cultura MT), São Paulo (SP Estado da Cultura), Espírito Santo (Mapa Cultural ES) and Paraíba (Cultura na Paraíba), in the Federal District (Mapa nas Nuvens) and in the municipalities of Sobral-CE (Sobral Cultura), Blumenau-SC (Blumenau Mais Cultura), São José dos Campos-SP (Lugares da Cultura), João Pessoa-PB (JP Cultura), Santo André-SP (CulturAZ), Belo Horizonte-MG (Mapa Cultural BH), Ubatuba-SP (Mapa Cultural de Ubatuba), Parnaíba-PI (Mapa Cultural de Parnaíba), Guarulhos-SP (GRUCultura), Londrina-PR (Londrina Cultura) and Santa Luzia-MG (Mapa Cultural de Santa Luzia), in addition to the cities of the Santa Catarina Northeast Municipalities Association – AMUNESC (AMUNESC Cultural).
From the point of view of management, the system enables better planning of actions by public cultural managers, more accurate monitoring and evaluation of public policies and strengthening of local liaison processes and territorialisation of actions. The data collection on cultural production enables generating indicators that mark out efficient, quality public policies. As data collection is collaborative, information goes through a constant updating process.
From the communication point of view, Mapas Culturais strengthens access to public information, as a tool that aggregates data for agents, venues, events and cultural projects; publicizes to citizens information about the cultural agenda of the city (regarding official and unofficial events); increases the possibility of exchanging information and communication with cultural agents – after all, it opens up a route between them and managers. This is a way to create a constant channel of collective construction of policies, consulting and interacting all the time with the agents, without the need to make great efforts to make public consultations, and facilitate communication between cultural agents and the public.
The states and municipalities that adopt Mapas Culturais form a network of public managers in which technology and policy dialogue. They are trained to use the technology and have at their disposal platform procedure manuals. Local and state governments in the network exchange experiences discuss improvements and new uses and are mutually supportive. Within each government, the departments involved dialogue, in an intersectoral and transversal process.