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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Locative and mapping marvels of the web

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/08/28 16:52

Ten years after Netscape's stock debut, great review of Internet's history, present and future at Wired: We are the Web by Kevin Kelly. Inspiring, truly, for those working around the net.

One remarkable thing. In the present stage of Internet, as Kelly depicts the 2005 scene, the most outstanding phenomenon in his eyes is blogging. But, then, he remarks several mapping and locative marvels of the web. That's encouraging, as we are so busy with Tagzania right now. Extracts from the article:

  • Today, at any Net terminal, you can get: an amazing variety of music and video, an evolving encyclopedia, weather forecasts, help wanted ads, satellite images of anyplace on Earth, up-to-the-minute news from around the globe, tax forms, TV guides, road maps with driving directions, real-time stock quotes, telephone numbers, real estate listings with virtual walk-throughs, pictures of just about anything, sports scores, places to buy almost anything, records of political contributions, library catalogs, appliance manuals, live traffic reports, archives to major newspapers - all wrapped up in an interactive index that really works.
  • This view is spookily godlike. You can switch your gaze of a spot in the world from map to satellite to 3-D just by clicking.
  • Cartography has gone from spectator art to participatory democracy.

The Netscape stock debut 10 years ago seems to mark the beggining of the net as an economic fact. The newspaper Le Monde also devoted a special report this august to that fact. Bought it while vacationing around. The last quotation of the report, by a Yale professor, Yochai Benkler, specialized in the net economy: Le rôle economique du comportament social devient plus important...

No alibi for the troll chasing Tagzania

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/08/22 18:58

Tagzania has been accused several times, since its launch, by a troll that accuses our site to be plagiarism, a copy of another web effort: Beenmapped.

We have tried to answer some of those allegations, as the ones that appeared at Oogle Earth. But finally, it's been a relief the note that Beenmapped itself has published:

August 16th, 2005. Some comments have been surfacing on some Google Maps blogs on the net about BeenMapped and Tagzania. Those were not written by me nor I endorse or approve such comments.

Tagzania and BeenMapped are quite different as Tagzania authors also agree. If you enjoy BeenMapped or Tagzania, we're happy you do, but there's no need or reason to make accusations of plagiarism. Thank you.

It was obvious that troll behaviour was not in the style of a map & web enthusiast like the person behind Beenmapped. Looks like the troll lives much more near: its first appearance was in Barrapunto, the Spanish Slashdot, and has appeared in other Spanish sites. Then the troll seems the follow the track of Tagzania references that the creators of it leave through For instance, he/she appeared at the nice Lifehack review that placed Tagzania among the top 10 of GoogleMaps developments.

A close watcher of us...

Now, the troll will have no alibi. Thanks to Beenmapped. Good luck to that project! It obviously has things in common with Tagzania, fundamentally the will to share maps, places, among people... Trolls don't do that, they are not for communities, not for sharing, only destroying.

Google Maps Explorer and temporary images

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/08/22 18:40

A new website to collect data as seen in the satellite imagery of Google Maps: Google Maps Explorer. It's a nice site. Categorization resembles tagging at Tagzania.

There's a sensible category on the first page: TEMPORARY. Many of the things that we spot with Google Maps/Earth are obviously temporary: a plane flying here or there, for instance. On the long term, when imagery gets renewed, what will happen to those dozens of curious images being bookmarked now? they will be forgotten? Perhaps something like Google Maps Explorer may function as an directory of marvelous things (images) past.

Free the maps!

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/08/09 22:32

Open the geo-data! Free the maps! Totally right point in a brilliant manifesto (Ten Things That Will Be Free, a provocative essay by Wikipedia creator Jimbo Wales, now guestblogging at Lessig's blog, the creator of Creative Commonso...) As for open maps, doing our bit with Tagzania . The rest of the 10 points, all right.

Particularly interesting the TV listings item.

Also the need for free dictionaries. This one, I would complete it with another vindication: Free NLP! (Natural Language Processing), or in other words, Free grammar, syntax and morphology!, for these areas of language are also subject to propietary software, closed developments, and restricted access to resources and solutions. It's happening with Basque, and surely with many languages: not only lexical items (the stuff of dictionaries), languages need freedom in several ways.

On the many suggestions that the manifesto is getting, I would also encourage that Free Directory or Yellow Pages vindication, in the line of the Wikicompany project (also interesting by its use of maps, I see confluences with Tagzania there...)

Memory Maps at Tagzania

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/08/08 16:26

Back on april, someone noticed two curious web developments: the first proliferation of Googlemaps mash-ups (then sort of hacked maps, before the API opened up legal and documented usage) with the Craigslist listings shown graphically, and the appearance of Memorymaps at Flickr: images that have annotated comments about places that have been important in someone's live. This seems to be a meme initiated by Matt Haughey, creator of Metafilter, and it has has followers at Flickr, check tags memorymap and memorymaps and these pools: one, two.

Curiosly, the application we launched 3 weeks ago, Tagzania, has been used for the very same functionality by the early adopters of the tool. So there are now live memorymaps (as opposed to the still images at Flickr) directly constructed over Google Maps using Tagzania accounts.

I think Earl Mardle from New Zealand was the pioneer at Tagzania. Check his year tags and look at a given map, like the one from 1970.

Other users that are doing similar things: Johnnysoko and Lauschender, both have decided to use a MyLife tag and there they are, memporymapping their lives.

I wonder if the first memorymappers of Tagzania came to this idea after the Flickr meme, or it blossomed independently.


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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