Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tracking a Lone Wolf

The Rocky Mountain News' entire front page today is a map depicting the wanderings of a lone female wolf in search of a mate. The wolf has traveled over 1000 miles and the front page map shows her five-state trek. [On a sad note, the Rocky Mountain News' last issue is tomorrow as it is closing its doors.]

Mapping Meteorites

Meteorite hunters take note! Apparently, the area near Waco, Texas is a hot bed of activity. The Waco Tribune-Herald has a map on its front page to show you where to search!

Geocommons Launches Obamameter

FortiusOne, as part of their Geocommons initiative, today launched their "Dashboard of the Economy" or as they more aptley named it...their Obamameter, which is a map that reports on the U.S. economic situation and in particular where funding is being spent or requested. According to the company they are mapping "breaking news" and their Obamameter is one of a few "visual dashboards" to watch the current economic situation and the global economy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Making The Housing Crisis 'Real'

I was watching ABC New's Nightline program last night as they reported on President Obama's plan to curtail the housing mortgage crisis. The report focused in on Phoenix and in particular West Zion Road in Maricopa, and by using Google Earth, zoomed into that neighborhood which exhibits the kind of blight that many cities are facing...multiple foreclosures on the same block not to mention the many other houses just simply up for sale.

What struck me was that the use of web mapping and satellite technology somehow makes it not just "real" (the obvious reason for using satellite images that can zoom to street level), but familiar. Maps have always been used in some form of news reporting but not with the same specificity; not with the same ability to isolate on a particular street; not with the notion of proximity and scale. It's not only real, but personal.

What's the most asked question when using Google Earth for the first time? Can I see my house? Well, that's fine, except you don't ever want to see it in a news report about home foreclosures. Now, that would be a little too real.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mapping the News One Newspaper at a Time

Thanks to good friend Hal Reid, I was pointed to a new web mapping application that the Newseum has developed that plots the the location of the nation's newspapers and displays the daily front page headlines. And it doesn't stop with U.S. publications. You'll find newspapers from around the world. I don't know how they capture all of this information but it is a fantastic resources for finding news from around the world in a geospatial context.

ABC Offers Maps of Australian Bush Fires

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is using a Microsoft's Virtual Earth-based map to report information about the extent of the bushfires wreaking havoc throughout the country. Up to date information on the location of fires and news about remediation efforts are being cataloged as well as the location of deaths.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mission Loci Maps Hyperlocal Activity

Mission Loci, a project of the Cal-Berkeley to provide news and information about the Mission District in San Francisco, launched a mapping app specifically to monitor the impressions about American Apparel, a new fashion store that has moved into the SF Bay area. The app places the impressions of store owners along Valencia street on the map and also provides the location of a potential American Apparel store location. The mapping app is one of a growing number of sites introducing hyperlocal news and its potential impact on neighborhood culture and business.