Presented at IxDA New York, June 7 2012
The Social Lives of Maps
People’s use of maps to research and navigate has been radically altered by the development and adoption of digital maps. Maps are no longer static print images. Instead, they are now dynamic and collaborative, as they have evolved in lockstep with the evolution of the Internet, from Mapquest’s launch in 1996 to the Web 2.0 enhanced Google Maps to the user content filled maps of Yelp.
Understanding how maps can be utilized as tools, interfaces, and content is fast becoming part of the standard “tool kit” of interaction designers. A static image or a link out to a map service may or may not be good enough due to raising expectations of the designer’s clients, employers, and people their designs serve. The new possibilities must also be balanced with the issues about privacy and security.
This presentation explores how people’s behaviors with digital mappings intersect with the current developments in location-based services, crowdsourcing, open government, and the mobile web. For the practitioner, basic off-the-shelf mapping tools, APIs, and services are discussed.