Mike got this one pegged
Mike Pegg, the blogger of Google Maps Mania, posted an open letter to the journalistic community about using Google Maps & Earth to help visualize and tell the stories of the day. I cannot emphasize how so dead on he actually is. Mike points out that mashing up a Google Map with an RSS feed is the wave of the future to combine multimedia sources through the map. He also touches on quick response items for crisis events such as the London Bombings, (which I was pushing to my office as that day went along). This whole concept makes so much friggin' sense too. Which is one of the reasons why there is the art of cartography, so that we can tell our stories through maps and geographic information. Think about when you were a kid and you would tell a story about how you would sneak up on an unwitting opponent of tag and freaked the person out. You drew lines in the sand to depict where you were and how you did what you did to make the sissy mary wet their pants. Which is the essence of which I am trying to convey here and to others. Show the story; don't just tell it! That's what is being taught (or was taught) in journalism school! Like I told the Google guys a few weeks ago, the map is the search engine for other information, which Mike and I couldn't be so right about. I just wish that some organizations would leverage this cheap & easy technology, implementing it as soon as they possibly can. Especially if you have the resources - I'm not talking money either - to do so to link so much awesome information together through the map that the user sees the entire situation as plain as day. Or, has the abilitiy to learn more about the topic so that it is clear as day. Information pedlers like news organizations need to get on the bandwagon with this stuff. Whether with Google Maps, MSN Virtual Earth, or even ESRI's ArcWeb Services. It is all about using the "slippy map" to pull the GeoWeb together with the geospatially loaded hypertext web to advance worldly knowledge. If you're really interested in getting a better understanding of this stuff, read "Mapping Hacks" by Erle et al. Even if you're in a bookstore and see it, read the Preface if it's all that you do.