Some people might say that I’m geo-obsessed. Since I started geo-tagging my Flickr photos, now about half of my entire Flickr stream is geo-tagged. I use Google’s Latitude, and I’ve written about the opportunities that I see for geo-location and news.
Last week, I met someone even more enthusiastic about geo-data and maps than I am, Andrew Turner. In this more than 200 slide presentation, Andrew presents a treasure trove of mapping concepts and resources. At slide 37, he talks about the near future for mapping and data. Andrew talks even faster than I do after I’ve drunk three cups of coffee, which is saying something so I’m thankful that several of his presentations are on SlideShare. This post is just to highlight a valuable resource.
One of the things I’m thinking about in light of his presentation and my own experience is how to make gathering data – geo-data and other data – easier for journalists. With more demands on our time, the workflow has to be extremely efficient or it won’t get done. I’m also thinking about the stories that benefit from location. One of things implicit in Andrew’s talk is how maps can tell stories, but not every story is best told with a map. The first mash-ups were map-based, and it’s led to an over-reliance on location for data-driven projects. Digital mapping is a powerful tool, but like all tools, digital maps are not appropriate for all tasks. However, the next time I need a map, Andrew’s presentation will definitely point me in the direction of the tools that I need to do the job.