Good and bad things about collaborative maps

Google Maps is a great tool, very easy to use. A perfect example of a 2.0 tool, where the user can be also a content creator. That's good. But it has problems, also.

It happened with the swineflu world map. Any citizen of the world could add cases at the beginning. Anyone who saw his neighbour coughin ran to place a pin. Alarming, and not helping as an informative map. Many placed suspicios cases, not so many erased them when they were discarded. In a few days the map was a mees. Now, most of the things are fixed. But it is no more a proper collaborative map. I tried to fix things and it was impossible.

View 2009 H1N1 Flu Outbreak Map in a larger map

But sometimes, having a helping hand from the readers is something wonderful. More if we have someone as filter. A media, as an example. That was what La Voz de Galicia (spain) did with this illegal landfills.

The map absolutely open has more problems. A good example is the infographic journalist map you have on the upper right corner of this blog. Is empty. It has data creted by me and yourselves... but someone entered once ... and erased all the content. I don't think that he/she meant it, but it happened...

I really think that the participation of the readers/users is a great help. Really important for media that want to connect with their audiences. But we are prfoessionals, and we have to offer professional content. We have to check that all the information given by the citizens is true, rigorous.
I say Yes to citizen journalism. Yes to collaboration. But I say No to wait for others to do what we should do.

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