Appreciate the considerations you raise
Indeed, you could say that metamaps is a kind of ‘curated’ or ‘hand-crafted’ network graph
In the immediate case of one map, that means it is often relatively personal and contextual. However, the slow accumulation and versioning that can happen when many people from a community or network begin to create and connect their individual maps, frameworks, and perspectives is a very informative and enabling process. So yes, to answer your question there are some (but not many, as of yet) instances of substantial collaboration on individual maps, but what is currently a bit more difficult to see on the surface is that there are many cases where people take inspiration from or make a direct copy of one person’s map and then go to work on creating their own version of it, maintaining some connections beneath the surface to those of peers through the use of recurring topics and structures.
One upcoming feature that we hope will greatly enhance the experience of live collaboration on shared commons maps is the addition of audio, video, and chat communication channels right on the map canvas. Already, if you’re on a commons map with another logged in user you’ll see their avatar icon moving around in real time and any edits they make.
Another point to your concern #1: something important about the information architecture in a map / graph based system is the accessibility of relevant content in a much more context-aware fashion. In the case of more traditional databases, taxonomies, and file structures, content lives in one “official” location (say, a project space, to use your example) and is not readily visible to someone working outside that space (a new or different project) unless they know of the existence of the former, or can see a clear relationship between them which has been defined at the system level (say, a hashtag, or higher level category such as “projects relating to social enterprise incubation”). In a graph database, you start to see lots of emergent pathways linking content and concepts, which are user defined, and are accessible in various ways to suit the preferences, intentions, or conceptual framework of other users. It takes some getting used to…but ‘surfing’ a mature collaborative knowledge graph environment is pretty empowering and intuitive!
One quick note to your question #2 is that once the information is there in graph form on any map, it becomes easy to process and package in more presentable or purposeful form. For example, I actually made a ‘fork’ of that Ops map a while ago exactly for the reason you bring up - something that would be more digestible and relevant to the ‘average’ guest user. Copied the map, removed some superfluous information, rearranged it, and saved as “Metamaps Ops Public” here…
We need to find a better way of showing the sorts of connections happening between maps like a Git fork-diff-merge versioning system of some sort…for now, you can at least place one map as a ‘topic’ onto another map, with the url link in that topic card to jump between. Lots to build, test, and explore! Thanks for taking the time to investigate and share your impressions! This is a fascinating aspect of open collaborative networks and ecosystems right now, and I’m following your work on CAPS with interest.