Community Blog Bloggin’ & Freedom of Geographic Information

Community blog aggregation, commentary, analysis and tying it into a network or publication’s own coverage would seem to be an excellent way to drive more visitor’s to a Web site.

In Seattle, the rags were too slow to get community-driven on their own, so KING5-TV’s Cory Bergman (of Lost Remote fame) took the lead. The Citizen Rain blog aggregates Seattle blogs, essentially creating a forum for citizen-driven content while increasing authority via external link distribution.

In the Bay Area, a rather large victory for Freedom of Information in relation to geospatial data. Dan Gillmor writes:

The California First Amendment Coalition has won a crucial lower-court ruling that Santa Clara County must provide — at cost — its geographic “base map” of real estate boundaries in the county. The county had been saying it would charge tens of thousands of dollars for information collected on behalf of residents, using taxpayer money.

While the free availability of such public data enables dynamic mapping of UGC it is also important to recognize how crucial it is that this data remains publicly accessible. In the UK, for example, there are considerable efforts lobbying for access to such data, including The Open Geodata Manifesto and Free Our Data.

Also, Charlie Szymanski and Maurice Tamman’s (of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune) excellent IbisEye is relaunched for the ’07 Hurricane season and it’s smoother and more user-friendly than before. (h/t Lucas).

photo by Spappy.Jones used under Creative Commons 2.0 license

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