Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obscure maps of Internet phenomenon

Seeing how much I love maps, data and the fascinating, weird and original stuff the internet brings into our lives the three guys pictured below have hit a home run. According to them Floating Sheep is:

Dedicated to mapping and analyzing user generated Google Map placemarks. The results provide one glimpse of what internet users (in the aggregate) think about particular places. Where are people posting placemarks about swine flu? Which places are considered to be "fun" by the collective intelligence of the Internet users?

We view this new cloud of user generated data as cyberscape which provides an additional layer for human interaction. In addition to our five senses we can now access cyberscapes of information (see our visualization below) as a digital sixth sense. We can look around a physical corner and see what online information has been tied to that location.

Since a large amount of this information is created by users we are no longer limited to the stale monotony (or security) of business directories or phonebooks. People can document their memories, feelings, biases and reactions to places and share them with the world.

Dr. Matthew Zook (in the foreground)
Department of Geography
University of Kentucky, USA

Dr. Mark Graham
Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford, U.K.

Taylor Shelton
Department of Geography
University of Kentucky, USA

If mapping pizza versus guns interests, the Beer Belly of America or Babtists, bibliophiles and bibles sounds of interest check it out. Besides, what else is Kentucky known for? Fried chicken?

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