Updated links to media/official/citizen coverage of the fires below.
I’ve messed with numerous mapping applications — namely Mapbuilder and Platial and none are as effective, easy to maintain / update and share as this map tracking the ongoing fires in Southern California. Nice one, Times.
For more fire coverage: CBS2/KCAL9 has multiple live video feeds available here, ABC7 is live here. KNX 1070 is doing a commendable job, covering this story like the natural catastrophe that it is playing out to be and knowing, ala Katrina, that while many may lose power and/or have to leave their homes, they still could have access to radio. Several KNX reporters have been on the story for over 24 hours straight now, and they’ve been broadcasting commercial-free since the story broke early Sunday. Listen in here.
SignOnSanDiego is also in breaking coverage mode via their text-only Fire Blog updates. With up to a quarter million people already being evacuated from areas of San Diego County it’s possible Qualcomm Stadium could be very reminiscent of the Superdome staging area (except of course that it’s not covered and the weather ain’t nearly that bad, save for the smoke in the air).
Also, LA City Fire Department is now live with its long-incubating real-time alerts feed. Subscribe via e-mail or Twitter. For very regular updates from San Diego to your mobile device, follow Nate Ritter.
Just as it was becoming clear this week that Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang’s first “100 days” as CEO isn’t setting up to be all that, a stream of new toys, deals, and partnerships have been announced. MapMixer is a product of Yahoo! Hack Day, according to TechCrunch and Reuters, and as you can see above, it enables you to overlay graphics on Yahoo! Maps (above is the USC campus, zoom out for full effect). Of course, not everything scales so nicely (see the Chicago ‘L’ map).
Yahoo is seeking more applied ingenuity and is pronouncing it’s “openness.” (NOTE: Jeremy Zawodny posted a much-better-written rebuttal/addendum to the BizWeek article on his blog.)
Is this real or a back-against-the-wall reaction to the apparent leak of a Google in-house video purporting a confluence of Google apps in a streamlined Facebook platform sort-of-way? Was Page and Brin’s $1.3 million landing at NASA’s Moffett Field near the Google HQ merely a decoy to overshadow speculation on the video? Is it true that there’s a bubble keeping the fog and cold bay air out of Silicon Valley?
The real big deal for Yahoo! this week was the announcement of a hefty deal to serve ads for Bebo, one of the most popular social networking sites in the UK (and a oft-rumored acquisition interest of Yahoo).
Also, tonight marks the launch of a partnership with Woot.com in which one item per night is featured on Yahoo! Shopping for purchase at sellout.woot.com.
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 â€” at cost â€” its geographic â€œbase mapâ€ 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