Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Future of Cartography: Dynamic, Custom, User Created Maps

I was planning on doing this article for a week. But now that I have been beaten to the punch I might as well do it now.

There are two must reads about the future and present state of cartography. CartoBlog's Dynamic Maps: The New Cartographic Medium and the New York Times' With Tools on Web, Amateurs Reshape Mapmaking.

The two articles tell of the future. Where user created content on a dynamic map base will become a big attraction and maybe even industry. For far too long people have been searching in vain for maps that fill some small niche but do not exist. Now anyone can make their own map and share it with the world with tools like Google Maps, Google Earth, Platial, etc. Need a specialized biking map of your hometown or map of Chinese restaurants? Now odds are much greater that it will be available.

Leading this revolution is a major shift in cultural thought. Information is now meant to be distributed freely and openly. This mirrors other advances in the internet like free encyclopedias and free blogs. Now longer is information viewed as power and only to be sold at a price; it is now seen as a natural right. Neogeography has changed the nature of field from a Gnostic nature to evangelical protestant one.

No comments: