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Cartographic Base

From the very get go our Hidden Ecologies discussions invoked the notion of mapping. If the project is to reveal invisible relationships and encourage the reading of place then what better framework than a map? This is doubly true if the map becomes an interactive tool of group authorship. Enter the concept of collaborative geo-annotation.

Collaborative geo-annotation refers to projects involving interactive geographic representation of something developed by multiple authors. In some cases data seem to be generated on the fly by smart phones and PDAs. In others the data served depends on your location. Some geo-annotation systems accumulate time histories of presence (see http://www.mapbureau.com/timeindex.html) or paths of transition. Some are technically elegant, others graphically pleasing. Collectively they presage interesting developments in mapping.

Mikel Maron, developer of the WorldKit package has extended this Flash-based application to allow the placement of a data record on the map by any visitor to the map. I have recently put together a system that allows visitors to annotate a map of the South Bay. Once entered the annotations appear on the map in the proper categorized layer and with associated descriptions and links. Check it out by clicking on the map below. Better yet, exercise the system by adding your own notes.

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