Cool Toys pics of the day: Cartography 2.0

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Cartography 2.0: http://cartography2.org/

“Cartography 2.0 is a free online knowledge base and e-textbook for
students and professionals interested in interactive and animated
maps.”

Boy, don’t they make it sound simple? But it isn’t, which they know.
So that’s why they have a team of volunteers sharing information. In
their “About” page they clearly articulate the benefits of social
media in general and as applied specifically to this domain:
(1) Speed of response and communication
(2) “Learning demands live examples”
(3) Two-way learning means COMMUNICATION, which is (duh) social
(4) Constant updates
(5) Doing things the old way is expensive.

I loved this line enough to quote it here:
“We firmly believe (as do many) that the era of the $150 textbook is
coming to an end. While this is sad for our friends working in
publishing houses, it is a boon for authors who now have others means
for reaching—and indeed, creating—their audience. Authors are able to
eliminate much of the overhead (and editorial red-tape) that consumes
that $150 price tag.”

The team of Mark Harrower, Anthony Robinson, Rob Roth, and Ben
Sheesley started really nicely, with a clearly stated question: “How
do I make great interactive, digital maps?” They followed this with a
clearly stated task: “The task we set ourselves was simple: If we only
had 15 minutes to share everything we know about topic X, what we talk
about, what would we demo, and what advice would we offer?” They
really have a great model here for how to develop this type of site or
project.

Now, it doesn’t hurt at all that I love maps. I don’t make them, but I
find them fascinating on many levels. They are the original
visualization tools, and have evolved a level of sophistication to
which other types of data visualizations are usually still aspiring.
So there you have it, another cool toy. Check it out. 🙂

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