Glossary of Mapeo related terms


Application (app)

An app is a type of software that can be installed and used on a computer, a smartphone, or on another electronic device and has been designed for a specific function. For example, Mapeo Mobile is an app for Android smartphones and Mapeo Desktop is an app for computers. Both have been designed for and with earth-defenders to map and monitor their lands. Some very famous apps that have been designed for communication purposes are Whatsapp, TikTok, and Zoom.

Background map

In a Mapeo project, they are the maps used in the background of the home screen. In Mapeo Mobile, background maps are used to show users their current location and that of the collected data. In Mapeo Desktop, they are used as a background in the map screen for displaying data collected, created, or imported to Mapeo. Background maps can be customized (see more about it in Custom background maps) and usually, they include geographic elements such as rivers and mountains, as well as some political and urban elements such as borders, cities, roads, and others.

Background map package

A Mapeo background map package consists of several folders and files that, used at the same time, create a background map. They are often shared as a compressed file(.zip).



In this context, a bug is an error or flaw in the software that causes it to produce an unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. We call "debugging" the process of finding and correcting bugs. Mapeo is under development and it may have some bugs that need to be fixed. If you ever encounter unexpected or incorrect behaviors, you can share them with us via Discord or Github, so that we can debug them.


In a Mapeo project, categories are the different groups or classes in which you can classify the data collected or created using Mapeo. For example, when you create a new point on the map, you can choose among categories such as "house", "tree", "hunting site" and many others to classify it. Each category is represented by a different icon and has different questions attached to it. By default, Mapeo comes with a set of categories, but they can be customized. For more information on customization, see Custom configurations.

Compressed file (.zip)

Compressed or zipped files and folders are commonly used because they take up less storage space than uncompressed files and can be transferred to other computers more quickly. They often have an .zip extension (they can sometimes have an .7z or .rar extension as well) and can be easily created and unzipped. In Mapeo, we use compressed folders to share background map packages, since they are composed of many files, and it is easier to share them as a folder.


In Mapeo, the configuration of a project determines which categories, icons, and questions users see when they are collecting data. For each data point collected with Mapeo, users can select a category to classify the point and may answer questions or respond to prompts to provide more detail about what is being documented. When you install Mapeo, it comes with a default configuration that includes general categories and questions for territory mapping and monitoring. Mapeo offers the option to create custom configurations to fit the needs of specific projects. For more information on customization, see Custom configurations.


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It is a platform that helps companies and organizations to translate their software. We use the Crowdin platform to translate Mapeo into different languages. It is free to create an account on Crowdin and anyone can contribute translations to Mapeo for new or existing languages. For more information, see Translating Mapeo & default configurations


It refers to information in digital form that can be transmitted or processed. In Mapeo, the word "data" is used for both observations collected by Mapeo Mobile (observation data) as well as lines, points, and polygons created using Mapeo Desktop (territory data). Data can be organized and stored in databases and be accessed electronically.

Device Accessibility Feature Settings

Most phones and computers have an Accessibility settings menu to help users change the settings of their devices to adapt to their needs. For example, there are often features for blind or low-vision computer users, such as Text-to-speech or Enlarged cursors, icons, and text. There are features for deaf or low-hearing computer users, such as Closed-captioning to convey audio information into a visual form or Mono audio, and there are also features for limited-mobility computer users, such as Keyboard shortcuts.

You can read more about the Accessibility options on a laptop (here) and on a smartphone (here).


We use the word features to describe things that appear on the map, such as rivers, buildings, or points of interest. In Mapeo Desktop - Territory mode, you can create features in the form of points, lines, and areas.

File extension

It refers to the letters appearing at the end of a file's name, after the dot. It indicates the type of file. Common examples are .doc for Word documents, and .pdf for PDF files. In a Mapeo project, some files have very uncommon extensions, such as .mapeosettings for the configurations and .mapeodata for sync files.


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In a Mapeo project, an observation refers to a point on the map collected by Mapeo Mobile. It is based on a geographic location (it has coordinates) and can have associated photos, notes, and other details.


Not connected to the internet.


Connected to the internet.


Also called P2P, it refers to a database or network that connects all different devices participating in a project, such as cell phones or computers. This is the type of database used by Mapeo and it allows users to transfer data to other users offline, and also allows several users with computers or smartphones to all work on the same dataset and share edits. For more on this, read Peer-to-peer & Mapeo sync

Play Store

Portable battery

Project key

In Mapeo, a project key is a random cryptographic string of characters that prevents unwanted devices from getting access to your data and allows you to synchronize data with your teammates. It offers more security since synchronization will only happen between Mapeo devices using the same project key, ergo, participating in the same project.



In a Mapeo project, synchronization is a process in which information is shared directly between different devices, and each device receives and shares data. In this non-hierarchical process, all devices that synchronize end up having the same information, and changes made on one device will be reflected on the other devices after syncing. To know more about it, visit Peer-to-peer & Mapeo sync

Sync files

It is a type of file created in Mapeo Desktop that allows the synchronization of Mapeo data between computers. It has an .mapeodata extension and, similarly to synchronization via Wi-Fi, it uses a two-way sync method. To learn more about how synchronization works, see

USB drive


A computer or smartphone virus, similar to a flu virus, is designed to spread from device to device and causes problems, often impeding the proper functioning of a file, a program, an app, or the device itself.

Wi-Fi network

It is a wireless connection that’s shared with multiple devices via a router. If the router is connected to an internet modem, your Wi-Fi network would have internet. Otherwise, it would be an offline network. Even using an offline Wi-Fi network, Mapeo allows you to synchronize data with other Mapeo devices connected to the same network.

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