Google's map's view of Calle Colegio Civil, the street appears to be quiet and enterprise-less, next to its formal counterpart.

Mapping Informal Spaces in Mexico: The Power of Data Infrastructures

The project was one of six finalists in the Defense, Diplomacy, and Development innovation challenge.  The challenge received over 500 applications and were selected by an inter-agency board from Department of Defense, State Department, and USAID.  You can read about the competition and six finalists on the Department of State's DipNote blog, where this project is titled "Unleashing the Informal Economy."

Below you will find a map I created from my time in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  It visually displays every informal enterprise (color-coded by sector) on Colegio Civil, known in Monterrey as Las Sombrilla (I've chosen to represent 53, though there are well over 80).  

If you click the pins, you will notice there is one informal shop that has an online presence.  We were able to include their business details.

This project seeks to explore the missing map of informal economies.  By putting these economies on a map and aiding their presence on social networks, we are installing a low-cost, web-based infrastructure that can transform the way in which we understand these market economies and integrate them into formal processes.