Open web mapping … and my first map Cloudmade style!

I've been so busy lately I haven't been able to keep up with the open web mapping movement—it seems to have really advanced in the last year or two. We're on the upswing where growth is exponential, with social media fueling an even-faster incline. This is great.

I made my first map style tonight on CloudMade, testing the water for a base map that will eventually underlie my thesis maps. I'm using Leaflet to serve up the map. Here's a sneak peek of London (which always looks good on a map):

I really love what OpenStreetMap and the whole open web mapping community is doing. The "giants" may have the resources to send camera-equipped vehicles down every street in the country, but the open movement has tons of human power willing to strap GPS units to their backs and hike around their own neighborhoods, just for the sake of the common good.

And with that comes beauty. The example below is a breath-taking example of what people are doing for people. Watercolor maps tiles … I'm still catching my breath. It's Salt Lake City, Utah, in watercolor. Temple Square, complete with the temple, tabernacle and conference center across the street. Now, what if this piece of art was pan-able, zoom-able map, like Google Maps or MapQuest? Well, it is—go ahead and drag it around, or jump to the full-screen version.


Social media makes us less social??

The problem with “social media” is that it robs us of inter-personal interaction. Things that we would normally share in a group setting, such as kids' achievements and family news, is blurted out indiscriminately within moments of happening and digested by random people—who would not normally be part of your inner circle—within moments of being posted. There's no mutual laughter (LOL is a sorry attempt at the wonderful feeling of actually laughing with someone), no eye contact, no hugs, no touch, no feeling, and no memory of what just happened. Just a click on the “Like” button and then we move on to the next one. One ephemeral like after another, stealing away the time we should be spending with the real people around us.

Social media is killing the art of being social, which by definition means being engaged with other human beings. What do humans do when they sit together in a group setting now? They engage in using social media! What a paradox, that the real has become less engaging than the imitation.

This and other negative effects of social media have been drawing a lot of attention recently:

The bottom line is, do you catch yourself thinking “That would make a great status update/profile picture!” rather than “What can I do for mother/father/sister/brother/neighbor/friend/random-person-on-the-street today?”? If so, it might be time for a social media moratorium.

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)