Seeing LookBackMaps mentioned in Rob Walker’s Consumed column in the New York Times Magazine January 3 was a great way to start off 2011!
The article, entitled Global Entertainment, explores the way maps are being used for more than information, and credits smaller enterprises for finding original uses of Google’s maps. It’s great to see explorations of historical place making it to the mainstream more and more lately.
The new cartography also benefits from the availability of other massive data streams that can be channeled into a form cross-matched on a map. The Geotaggers’ World Atlas shows where Flickr and Picasa users take the most pictures. Lookbackmaps and Historypin put user-submitted photos of historic interest onto Google maps. The BBC has an online tool called Dimensions that allows you to see, for instance, the size of the gulf oil spill overlaid on the geographic location of your choice. You can also find instructions online for how to create a Google map pinpointing foreclosures in your city.