Mapping Identity

A new layer of the internet is emerging specifically for the identity of people.

Identity is complex.

With that complexity comes many, many initiatives and efforts happening around the world. A clear understanding of what is happening where can help us all better decide the allocation of time, attention and resources. If we were planning a journey, we’d start with a map. In this uncharted territory, we’re building the map!

If a picture’s worth a thousand words … imagine how many languages maps speak.

An interactive map for digital identity

We first created an Identity Ecosystem Map, and then broadened the scope and created a better framework for understanding the identity space. We are now building a public, interactive map of the activity happening in the digital identity ecosystem.

What we will learn from the map

Who is working on what issues?

  • Who are the individuals working in this industry?
  • Which working groups are developing specifications?
  • What are those specifications?
  • Which people belong to which working groups?
  • Who are the lead authors and editors of the specifications?
  • What companies do the individuals work for?
  • What trade associations and nonprofits are working on issues surrounding personal data?

What actually is being developed against all those specifications – and how do they relate?

  • What projects are implementing identity technologies and solutions?
  • What standards are those identity technologies using?
  • What specifications are those identity technologies working to?

Where can we best stay informed about identity and personal data?

  • What publications track this industry and to what extent?
  • What articles, websites and blogs talk to the issues?
  • Where are those articles published?
  • What are the events and conferences that tackle these issues?

Building on existing work

Initial identity ecosystem map

Our initial desk research is available in our original map

Since this research, the identity field has grown considerably, and the map is just a fraction of the current activity in the space.

Improved data structure

Identity Commons collaborated to improve the metadata structure and made significant changes to the potential usefulness of this map.

More complete and usable map

In this next phase of work, we are cooperating with the mapping team from the Digital Life Collective, who built this map of the decentralized tech ecosystem, launched at the 2018 Decentralized Web Summit. Click on any node to see its profile. Use the dropdown menu at the top of the map to explore the categories.

Here is a look at the identity projects on this map of decentralized tech:

Add your identity project to this map of decentralized tech here. Working with the Digital Life Collective mapping team, we will contact all identity projects on this map once the next version of our identity map is live.

Our improved data structure will be moved to a more robust database and various views of that data will be available through visualization tools like the one used above.