February 2, 2007

Mapping and Web 2.0 mash-ups

Last night I guest-lectured at the Programming in Journalism class taught by Bill Gannon and Dan Gillmor at the University of California, Berkeley. We tackled the latest wrinkle in mash-up culture: Web 2.0 mash-ups that take two datasets and bring them together to create something useful or interesting.

I suggested that this will become an increasingly common form of service journalism in the years ahead, and readers will expect their local news publications to provide information that they can move through in this way. For example, if I’m looking to move to a new town, I’d love to see a mash-up that shows schools and their students’ test scores plotted on a geographic map.

Some of the sites we looked at:

HousingMaps.com, which started it all.

Platial, a cool map-sharing service that the students are using



Google Maps mash-ups (over 200 examples)

• Washington Post Remix center (inactive since last May)

• Dave McClure’s list of mash-up links

• Programmable Web Mashup Dashboard

Meantime, also check out StoryMapping, a project of Joe Lambert and his colleagues at The Center for Digital Storytelling. They are developing a series of
national projects for organizing digital story projects based on
the link between narrative and place.

StoryMapping is a call to action. We are taking the lessons learned from more than a decade of work in Digital Storytelling, and integrating it with an emergent tool set of digital mapping technologies now available to the broad public.

Whether it is geo-tagging images on Flickr, building story-based GoogleMaps, developing Windows Live virtual tours, organizing local cell phone walking tours, or the permanent imbedding stories into locations to be received by Bluetooth and other wireless information, we can now create maps that share stories about the places that matter to us, and place our life stories in countless geographic contexts. …

Starting this summer, we will begin a youth program with a focus on Storymapping. The Storymapping Summer Camp is open to all youth ages 12-17.

JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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2 thoughts on “Mapping and Web 2.0 mash-ups

  1. This is my latest storytelling mashup that you may find interesting.


    It’s an interactive work on the subject of the ‘wreckers’. In early January a container ship was grounded off the coast of Devon, England, and just like they did centuries before, the locals came to loot what they could. The police stood helpless as locals took BMW’s out of containers…

    My idea with this is to make what I call a ‘debate drawing’. I wanted to make drawings that were more connected to a subject, and to have a debate going on inside a picture, or even a debate that creates a picture. So I wrote a computer script and hooked it up to web feeds. The comments you post are mixed in with other comments from a web feed, and also converted into shapes and lines. There’s a more detailed explantion on the site.

    Please have a go and post a comment, as every comment is added to the system and makes the pictures richer/ more interesting.

    The best pictures will be printed big, to be presented in a gallery context.