Maptivism getting easier, happening more

Combine mapping, with participation, and a subject matter that needs attention, and you can create some powerful, useful tools. Google Maps APIs and various mashup techniques made it easy for technologists to build services that pulled together these concepts, but now hosted services like Ushahidi’s CrowdMap and SeeClickFix are opening up the possibilities to more.

NYTimes: “Phone Apps Aim to Fight Harassment”


Observer: “Want to Help Dig Out Some Police Cars? Site Crowdsources Snow Cleanup in NYC”

Snowmageddon Clean-Up: New York “Police and public turn to social media & maps in the Queensland flood crisis”

EveryMap and ABC Qld Flood Crisis Map

Mercury News: “O’Brien: What Haiti tells us about the promise and limitations of digital media”

GigaOm: “How Social Networks and Mobile Tech Helped in Haiti”


CNN: “Ushahidi: How to ‘crowdmap’ a disaster”

O’Reilly Radar: Alex Howard: “The role of the Internet as a platform for collective action grows”


Ushahidi and CrowdMap

SeeClickFix (which just got some nice investment)


Crisis Commons



We Media

Code for America

Smart, useful desktop mashup of transit data for Philadelphians

Check out fellow Comcaster Mat Schaffer’s Mac Dashcode widget, “iSepta Train View”. As the name suggests, it mashes up data from the fantastic with Septa’s own Train View for a concise look into Septa’s regional rail status.

A Few Google Map Hacks

O’Reilly: Glenn Letham: Hackers Tap Into the Functionality and Simplicity of Google Maps.

Many fun things to try here.

Newsmap and 10×10

These have made the rounds before, but they are worth a second (and third, and… well for me it’s an everyday thing) look:

newsmap builds a graphical representation of the top stories at Google News that makes it easy to discern what the most popular ones of the day are.

10×10 does something similar, culling stories from various news sources and presenting them in a photographic gallery, literally laid out in ten rows and ten columns.

Neither description I’m giving does them justice. If you haven’t tried these yet, give them a shot.