Maps and stuff

Maps and stuff

To continue an idea that Al touched upon. Maps. More specifically, Google Maps. We’ve started to incorporate them with some of the local stories that we post online. If it is warranted, of course. And most stories will. The use of Google Maps is hardly new or innovative, but it does offer our readers (website visitors) a perspective that is not possible via the print edition. Static maps do not allow you to insert multiple flags with additional info + hyperlinks + photos + the ability for readers to post comments and photos (something that I hope to incorporate soon.) I recently found a news site that incorporated a Google Map during election time that allowed visitors to post about irregularities at varius polling locations. At a time of extreme weather, for instance visitors could also post comments and photos about the effects of weather in various location around a city (during a hurricane or flood, for instance.) There are a multitude of possible uses. Not to mention that all the data, (date, location, info) can culled to create overview maps, or what have you. The use of Google Maps by media companies, by and far, got a big boost by one, Adrian Holovaty, who developed Chicagocrime.org among other sites. I recently contacted him via email for some assistance and he responded very quickly. It’s great to know that some of our peers are so willing to share knowledge. He recently put this post on his blog about a fundamental way newspaper sites need to change. Worth a read.

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