Granted, Ecotrust isn’t exactly a startup. But this app release was too interesting to pass up.
Google likes it some Portland. Apparently we have a test market that they like. And as such, they tend to test drive products here before they try them anywhere else.
Well, and this time, it doesn’t hurt that we’re home to one of the leading resources for open transit data. That’s why Google and TriMet have teamed up to provide real-time updates on transit via Google Maps. Read More
[HTML3]According to Wired Magazine, mobile devices need custom maps. According to me, Portland is the de facto hub of mobile development and it’s not too shabby when it comes to geolocation geekery either.
No, it’s not a non-sequitur. You see, the maps built on MapBox described in the article? The Development Seed ones? Under the hood of that iPad pursuit is good old Portland mobile geolocation ingenuity, thanks to Justin Miller. Read More
Portland has always had an interesting geolocation contingent here in town—with companies like Platial, gatherings like WhereCampPDX, and mobile apps like Ice Condor. So what better town to help with the OpenStreetMap project?
No better place, my friend.
That’s why the OpenStreetMap folks will be hosting two events this weekend. Read More
I always wish companies took time to blog a little bit more. Share a little insight. Blow off some steam. Or even just tell us what they’re thinking.
Sometimes I think the folks running startups forget that they’ve got a great deal to share. That their experience or their failures or even just their focusing on a singular topic in excruciating detail gives them a unique vantage for which many of us mere mortals yearn.
And today, I was completely blown away when I caught up on a series of posts by Portland-based Platial‘s Di-Ann Eisnor, documenting her thoughts on “How neogeography will change the way we live.” After reading the series, you’ll never look at mapping the same way again. Read More
Portland-based Platial, one of the original social mapping applications and caretaker of more than 150 million geobits of information, has rolled out a new build of its application that promises to take a critical step forward in social mapping, moving from the ability “to plot points on a map” to the ability to have much deeper and meaningful experiences with locations and the people who love them.
The newest release—dubbed “Flanders,” following the alphabetical NW Portland street structure that governs Platial’s release naming—introduces a number of new features and a whole new look for Platial.
Not the least of which are a ton of new categories for your map items:
Sharing the experience
But the most important part of the release may not be the things that you see. The most important part of the release may be the things that you feel.
Because the latest build of Platial focuses on helping the viewer move from disconnected innocent bystander to participant, by immersing him or her in the rich contextual fabric of the location.
“We’re trying to push a little further,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, Platial CEO. “We’re trying to capture that experience by providing relevant and contextual information.”
And that experience is definitely heightened by Platial’s move into the content space.
I’m happy to see Platial’s flavor of social mapping move beyond the realm of “writing a few notes about this pin on the map” to something that furthers the storytelling that has always been at the very core of the Platial service.
And with the Flanders build, I see them moving into something that truly gives meaning to location: history, context, deep content, and differing views.
It will be exciting to see where this goes.
(Hat tip Marshall Kirkpatrick)
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the mapping and location apps that call Portland, Oregon, home. (Thanks in no small part to the reigning King of mapping, Matt King. An “*” below identifies each of his mapping projects.)
The most well-known Portland-based mapping application, Platial, is the largest independent social mapping application. According to the Platial site:
Platial enables anyone to find, create, and use meaningful maps of Places that matter to them. Our dream is to connect people, neighborhoods, cities, and countries through a citizen-driven common context that goes beyond geopolitical boundaries. We are building Platial because we adore Places.
The admittedly “we did it for the fun of it project” that helps the would-be lush-on-a-budget find the nearest happy hour. And fast.
In Unthirsty‘s own words:
Unthirsty is the work of a group of like-minded souls who were always struggling (for obvious reasons) to remember where and when they last enjoyed that good happy hour. A plan of action was drawn up on beer sodden napkins over bargain pints and some mighty fine nachos. Thus, Unthirsty was launched and dedicated to the good of all mankind’s legally drinking denizens.
Yearning for yarn? Look no further than KnitMap, your way to finding all of your needling knitting needs or simply getting your Turkish Cast-on on.
KnitMap describes itself as:
[A] site that catalogues and maps the locations of retail shops that sell yarn, knitting supplies and knitting accessories. You can search to find these locations in the US, Canada, UK and most of Europe. Its anywhere that Google maps will work, and the list is growing everyday! Once you’ve found a shop, you can rate it’s attributes, leave comments, upload photos, and add it to your Favorites.
Think Unthirsty and KnitMap are cool, but interested in putting your own spin on the “plot and find [whatever] via Google Maps”? Then look no further than SocialMap, the mapping technology that powers both of those properties.
Why release SocialMap?
SocialMap was created to help solve the problems we encountered on the web within the communities we are a part of. Through its humble beginnings as a national Happy Hour finder, then a Knitting store locator, we noticed regions and groups that had a passionate user base, but were very underrepresented online. Existing websites and search engines were not only dated in their technology but lacked the ability for users to interact with the information presented.
Winner of the “Best Mashup” at this year’s Mashup Camp, Mapdango takes other API-accessible content and plots it on the map.
Mashup Awards described Mapdango as:
An extensive Google Maps mashup that lets you explore locations with helpful information including weather (WeatherBug), photos (Flickr), facts (Wikipedia), events (Eventful), news (Google News) and more.
New to the Portland mapping scene, WeoGeo takes a deep dive into online cartography, providing extremely detailed mapping options.
[WeoGeo] supplies surveyors, engineers, cartographers, and scientists with the ability to conveniently store, search, and exchange high-resolution CAD and GIS mapping products. Mappers easily list their data for sale. Researchers quickly find the data they need.
(Bonus) TwitterLocal* (formerly known as TwitterWhere)
It’s not a mapping application, per se, so I didn’t want to include it on the list. But TwitterLocal is another Matt King project that makes location information useful in the context of Twitter. Simply plug in a location and TwitterLocal will provide an RSS feed of the Twitter residents in that area, like Portland, for example. It’s a valuable tool for getting a feel for your neighborhood Twitter types.
That’s just a short list. But, admittedly, there’s so much mapping occurring in map-happy Portland, that I may have missed some obvious maps. If I did, please feel free to admonish me in the comments.