Cartography Remixed

The launch of Google Maps last February, and Google Earth and
MSN Virtual Earth more recently, have brought cyberspace closer to
Earth and ordinary people closer to the age-old science of
cartography. Though the internet map revolution has been brewing
for years, as

Wade Roush reports in Technology Review
, this year has
been marked by burgeoning innovation.

Take, for example, the Google Maps ‘mash-ups’ programmers have
been scripting to augment maps with useful information. There are
mash-ups that help people navigate the roads, like one that
locates cheap gas in a driver’s
area
and another that
monitors traffic
conditions
. Others, like
chigagocrime.org, help
people map safe routes. Several other new mapping tools are ideal
for travelers.
Geobloggers.com tracks
and plots Flickr photos that have been embedded with geotags
(information about geographic coordinates) on a Google map. Another
boon for information junkies and world travelers is
placeopedia.com, which
uses Wikipedia articles to
inject a wealth of information into the Google Maps interface.

While these new innovations haven’t yet transformed average
citizens into full-blown cartographers, they have reinvented
map-making as an increasingly interactive exercise. As Roush
writes, ‘[N]avigating both the Web and the real geography around us
is about to become a much richer experience.’

Go there >>

Killer Maps

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