Toward a new generation of community atlases - The cybercartographic atlas of Antarctica
The movement towards the reader as author is increasingly prevalent in the information society as a whole. Increasing development of wireless connectivity and relatively inexpensive tools with which to access the Internet has resulted in the ability to be in an 'always on' state. The geographic information domain is highly implicated in this movement. In the first half of 2005 Google released Google Maps and soon after, Google Earth. This followed the release of NASA's World Wind (v. 1.2) in 2004. These releases followed by others such as Microsoft's Digital Earth took the already existing Internet map scene dominated by sites like MapQuest to the next level. These next-generation applications provide better performance and integration with general search functions and the ability to upload and display your own data and use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create 'hacks' or 'mash-ups' that adapt for use in their own on-line applications (Erle, Gibson, & Walsh, 2005). This opens new horizons in the way we map the world. These technological changes have resulted in the development of knowledge construction communities. Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org) is probably the best known example of knowledge construction through collaborative effort enabled by emerging technologies. Examples such as Placeopedia, Openstreet, or Geowiki are emerging from similar communities. Anybody with Internet access can now access and provide geospatial information. At the same time, location in the real world can be captured and mapped easily with all kinds of devices and tools such as GPS or RFID. These tools are being combined with the increasingly popular activities associated with Locative Media such as location-based pervasive games (Chang & Goodman, 2004). These popular applications are changing the way cartography and geographic information is being collected, represented and shared. For example, 'Geotagging' is the process of adding geographical coordinates and other metadata to various real world features and associated media such as websites, RSS feeds or images; 'geocaching' (http://www.geocaching.com/) is the reverse process: finding artefact in the real world based on geospatial coordinates usually made available over the Internet. Geotagging, coupled with the ability to plot to geographic information infrastructures like Google Map is resulting in an increasing base of personal geographic information. This combination of located information and flexible user interaction provides challenges related to an increase in user participation in atlas development. These developments have implications for atlases which are an attempt to provide a thematic collection of maps. Where, for centuries the atlas was the result of often months or years of effort by an individual or group of specialists and then published in a by nature of the medium, static, bound (often heavy!) paper form. In more recent years, this gave way to digital atlases in the form of CD ROMs and the Internet. CD ROMs added an interactive and dynamic component plus portability. The Internet made way for the atlas that could be widely disseminated and constantly updated. However, until recently, these atlases were authored by an individual or relatively small group. There were good reasons for this, as technologies, collaborative data transfer and security issues presented a high cost of involvement. The aforementioned technological developments and widespread adoption of related behaviours is revolutionising the possibilities and reducing these costs. This chapter discusses the implications for these developments in the context of the production of the Cybercartographic Atlas of Antarctica (The Atlas). In the next section we describe the context of The Atlas. In section 3 we discuss some of the specificities of The Atlas in terms of modularity and interoperability. These points are developed more specifically in section 4 from a technological point of view through the description of the atlas development framework. Finally, in section 5 we present some of the cybercartographic outcomes of this process which leads us to conclude on discussing from different perspectives the notion of a community atlas.
Pulsifer, P.L. (Peter L.), Caquard, S. (Sébastien), & Taylor, D.R. (2007). Toward a new generation of community atlases - The cybercartographic atlas of Antarctica. In Multimedia Cartography: Second Edition (pp. 195–216). doi:10.1007/978-3-540-36651-5_14