These days, you can find bamboo almost anywhere. Not just bamboo plants at the botanical garden or bamboo flooring at the hardware store. You can also shop for all manner of bamboo kitchenwares, sleep sweetly on bamboo sheets and luxuriate with bamboo bath towels. With such a profusion of bamboo, you could easily get lost in the woods. But now the Bamboo World Map makes it easier than ever to find your bearings.
The Bamboo World Map is a free online resource created by bamboo enthusiast and event promoter Iraklis Kalamenios. Launched in April 2022, the map includes over 400 bamboo projects on six continents. Listings on the interactive map are free and provide basic contact information including a link to those with websites. Premium members enjoy featured banner ads and additional opportunities for promotion.
Why the Bamboo World Map
Iraklis Kalamenios was born to promote bamboo. Literally. He was born in Greece, where his name is the equivalent of Heracles, the divine hero with superhuman strength. Moreover, his last name refers to canes or culms, and could actually translate to something like “man of bamboo”. Iraklis doesn’t know all the family history, but apparently he had some ancestors who specialized in working with reeds, cane grass, or bamboo.
(If you’re interested in words and their roots, be sure to check our article on Etymology and Bamboo.)
From the time he became aware of his name and his unique family heritage, Iraklis has been trying to fulfill his destiny as a modern-day hero of bamboo. His collection of musical instruments includes an impressive array of bamboo flutes. He also finds ways to advocate for the use of bamboo as a renewable building material and an alternative to deforestation.
Meanwhile, Iraklis is something of a world traveler. Born in Greece, he moved to Germany at a young age. He later migrated to Florida and married a woman from Colombia. Today he lives in the vicinity of Cologne, in western Germany. But he still considers himself a citizen of the world.
Among other trades, Iraklis works as an event organizer and promoter. During the pandemic, he put together a virtual bamboo conference, which was attended by about 100 German architects and other bamboo enthusiasts. As his first bamboo event, and in the middle of COVID, the conference was a surprising success and a fruitful networking opportunity. Iraklis is already planning his next bamboo fest, taking place in-person next fall. Check the Bamboo World Map site for details.
In the process of organizing these events and connecting with participants, Iraklis’s passion for bamboo and international affairs flourished. As his network grew, he saw the need to map out his contacts for easier reference. The map filled quickly, and so the concept of a Bamboo World Map was born.
How to use the Bamboo World Map
The Bamboo World Map is free to use, both for general users and for those businesses listed on the map. Built from a simple, user-friendly platform, it’s as easy as swiping back and forth across the time zones and zooming in and out, like any other navigational app.
If you’re looking for bamboo projects to connect or collaborate with in any given region of the world, there’s no easier way to find them. Whether you want to buy something or sell something, contact info is clearly listed for everyone.
If you have a bamboo enterprise of your own, it’s equally easy to contact Iraklis Kalamenios through the website and have your project listed for free. For additional publicity and exposure, you can pay for a banner ad or premium listing on the site. Iraklis also builds websites, an added service he’s happy to provide for fellow bambuseros. Ask him about upcoming conventions and trade shows while you’re at it.
In time, Iraklis looks forward to the World Map becoming an indispensable resource for anyone in the bamboo industry and everyone looking to source bamboo products from anywhere else in the world. I’ve already discovered a few new contacts for myself. And before traveling anywhere, it’s fun to check the Bamboo Map to see if there’s anyone else in that area we might rendezvous with for a cup of tea or a bite to eat.
The world of bamboo is vast and varied. And the bamboo industry just keeps on growing. To learn more, take a look at some of these other relevant articles.