Sunday, April 20, 2008

Google Maps Mashup Makes London an Open Book

Finally, a Google Maps mashup I can acquire into. Trailing new , U.S. , and that old standby, ? Beyond the first spots of noodling, well... meh.

But local history, geography, and especially reading -- now we're talking. , a British organisation devoted to encouraging reading, have cooked up a mashup that combines geographics and literature. places thumbnails of over 400 books related to or that return topographic point in Greater London over their relevant locations, right down to the relevant street corner. (It's wish a significantly less creepy version of the cabbie's circuit of the metropolis in Eddie Campbell's , the beginning of the Rebel Depp movie.) Each thumbnail have a popup with a user-modifiable summary.

This is a classic win-win situation. Publishers acquire a encouragement from people who are funny about books written about where they live. The City of Greater London acquires a encouragement from tourers -- or even its ain citizens -- having more than grounds to research and larn about the city. Avid readers acquire great suggestions for new reading material. (Considering my creaky shelves of as yet unread books, maybe that last 1 isn't a win.)

People react to seeing their hometown represented in the media, especially when it's done right. My first idea after seeing Get Greater London Reading was that I'd wish to see something similar for here in Montreal, though it would probably be dominated by and . My 2nd idea was that, given the amount of Film Industry movies that are shot in this city, it would be sort of cool to demo where different movies were shot -- though the storage warehouse that served as 's put mightiness be anticlimactic.

Going back to books, this also do for a good educational tool. The changeless lamentation of the student, especially in high school, is that they can't associate to what they learn. Putting dramatic literature and history in the linguistic context of their ain vicinities might make more than to pique their involvement than field trips to museums and forts.

What really struck me, however, was how something like this could -- no, should -- be an extension to cities' existent touristry strategy. It works well because it's maintained by its user base; make a good occupation with the initial tools and subsequent publicity and it can go almost self-sustaining. It's been 26 old age since my last visit to Greater London and I'm not certain when my adjacent 1 will be, but I cognize I'll be taking some clip out to make a small literary geographic expedition the adjacent clip I'm there.

[Thanks to for the link.]

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