A major new trend in cartography and urban planning, Web Mapping can safely be regarded as one of the hottest new public engagement tools. Historically, cartography was expensive, restrictive, and complex. However, with the relatively recent rise of web mapping, a range of free and proprietary data and technology has been born. As a result, the barrier to entry for creating maps on the web has shifted from that of the paper atlas and other traditional cartography.
For the novice, the difference between web mapping and web cartography is that traditional mappers primarily deal with technological issues, while cartographers also study theoretic aspects: the use of web maps, the evaluation and optimization of techniques and workflows, the usability of web maps, social aspects, and more. Web GIS is similar to web mapping but with an emphasis on analysis, processing of project specific geodata and exploratory aspects.
Confused? What we hope planners understand is how useful Web mapping can be to your public engagement efforts. Web maps can easily deliver up to date information about community, that residents and visitors are interested in. Some examples:
The Where2012 team has has put together some fab workshops explaining the ins and outs of web mapping, and providing some toolbox tips for using the best open source tools to engage your community. Attendees won’t want to miss these sessions:
Through examples culled from two years of experience making real-time mobile introductions between nearby people who share common interests, presenter Gabe Smedresman will share best practices for wielding this powerful dataset to deliver situationally relevant serendipitous opportunities and orchestrate small-world moments. When availability, location accuracy, and social context must be taken into account, the most challenging factors can be knowing when, in what form, and how often to reach out. Attendees will take away lessons learned from managing multiple location sources, determining user availability, interpreting proximity in different urban densities, and variations in response rates by situation. Learn more about this workshop >>