Maps on the Internet

By Kelly Wakefield

The Internet holds the door open to millions of maps that have been created through professional organisations, such as Multimap and by amateurs.  The topic of my post this week has been inspired by James Cheshire’s research blog and his blog post ‘2010: Mapped’.  The blog was a summary of interesting maps from each month in 2010 which included a map of winter olympic medals and the London Elephant Parade. 

Haklay et al (2008) critically discuss the landscape of Internet mapping techniques and the change it has seen since 2005 with new techniques emerging.  Internet mapping started after the emergence of the WWW in the early 1990s and the rapid increase of the development of delivery mechanisms carried on into the 1990s. The term ‘neogeography’, attributed to Eisnor (2006) is “a socially networked mapping platform which makes it easy to find, create, share and publish maps and places”.  Neogeography is essentially Haklay et al (2008) suggest about people using and creating their own maps, on their own terms. 

The maps displayed in the blog cover many different topics and highly covered media stories from different sources and so challenges more traditional ideas of geography and geographical mapping.  As Haklay et al (2008) suggest ‘when all can potentially capture and distribute data through access to GPS, the Internet and mobile devices, what information can users trust?”

Haklay, M, Singleton, A and Parker, C (2008) ‘Web Mapping 2.0: The Neogeography of the GeoWeb’. Area, Vol. 2, Issue 6, p2011-2039

        James Cheshire’s Research Blog based in the Department of Geography and Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London.

1 comment

  1. I think the Neogeography concept will ultimately be eaten up as a social media specialty. Hopefully a savvy developer will be able to create a platform which will allow the “place” part of geography to be a bigger part of social networking. Some things like Foursquare and facebook Places have falled just a bit short.

    Similarly, I love the paradigm of current events geography – news affecting quick, catchy, maps generated at ease. This is a great time for the geography “place” hounds!

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