Networking

Mapping mashups weave a personal story

Google Maps has been given a new application. This time it's a space for users to pin their personal stories on a map, but its applications are far wider, and might perhaps not all be entirely well-intentioned.

The mashup/collaboration space is really warming up. A story in Wired News concerns Platial, a mashup based again on Google Maps, but this time it's a space for users to pin their personal recollections on a map, and then to keep on tagging the things of interest to them.

As with most such present-day collaborative endeavours Platial enables you to open your history to the world, share it with selected friends, or keep it to yourself.

The story likens Platial to a mix of MapQuest (a consumer site which helps people find directions to places of interest, and their nearby surroundings) and a blog, and demonstrates how a tour party used it to plot its route.

But the scope here beyond personal mapping is huge, almost limitless - consider its applications as a wiki. Educators, historians and novelists are sure to love it.

Given its potential for damage, politicians might not be so keen, though: for example, how about a map charting the chronology and progress of a certain war going on right now? Or a real-time map of progress made in effecting repairs in the aftermath of a hurricane? Or, given a certain prime minister's recent intervention to remove a spoof speech attributed to him from the web, how about a satire on his travels around this wide brown land?

Seems the tools are constantly improving for someone, somewhere to do some 'creative' mashing.

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