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Books & Articles I wrote.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Google Maps and Local Information

Brad Feld posted about judysbook.com so I went to have a look. It is yet another move in the direction of localized information and combined with a collaborative Wiki type environment as something like Dan Gillmor's Bayosphere, there seems to be a huge move towards people taking control of their own cities/towns/regions and so on.

Certainly the Wisdom of Crowds seems to indicate this will only benefit everyone. I do have two questions:

1. Can a site that incorporates so many of these features in the one place work better than an collaborative view that integrates multiple providers? So i see reviews, articles, forums, friends and so on all of which you could argue already exist (the articles could be a Bayosphere equivalent). Perhaps this feature rich environment will work better in a localized environment than it does on the web. I find it hard to focus on exactly what i want to get out of something when i see a bunch of disparate features, but perhaps because this is localized it will work better. You can zoom in on the things related to where you are.

2. Can Google maps scale? Technically, i don't doubt it. Apparently they developed some kind of search engine that scales pretty well. However, when i look at a map i see a bunch of baloons everywhere (much like my old graduation photo:)) - it makes me kinda dizzy and clicking on any one of them is tricky as they overlap. As more people come on board you can imagine this getting out of control. I wonder what kind of filters people will start to apply to make these maps readable.

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