Thursday, March 20, 2008

A long delayed article on OpenStreetMap that I having been co-writing with Chris Perkins, has been finished and published in the journal North West Geography.

"The potential of user-generated cartography: a case study of the OpenStreetMap project and Mapchester mapping party", North West Geography, Volume 8, Number 1, 2008. (A local copy is archived here.)

Collaborative approaches based upon volunteered input into shared Internet-based resources are beginning to offer a radical and new alterative to more traditional mapping. This paper explores the potential of one of the most developed of these ‘open’ maps, in a case study of the OpenStreetMap project and of the practices deployed during a ‘mapping party’ in Manchester.
The successes and weaknesses of the Mapchester weekend are discussed and it is concluded that the democratising and social potential of the new medium is already being realised.

Open mapping, Manchester, OpenStreetMap, Mapping parties, User-generated cartography.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Maps of submarine cables

Hello, the recent news coverage of cuts to submarine cables and the impacts
this has on the Internet highlights why the geography of
cyberspace matters
in a very material sense.

Les Cottrell has done a useful bit of quantitative analysis of the recent
events in a online paper, "Effects of Fibre Outage through Mediterranean".

This links to a nice overview map of submarine cables produced by the
Guardian newspaper (using TeleGeography data)
. The TeleGeography
Research cable map poster can be seen purchased.

Other sources of global-scale submarine cable maps include:

- Alcatel-Lucent, (2007 version)

- An older 2006 Alcatel version

- And an even older 1999 that I had archived

- KDDI's 'Global Network Map'
- Tata Communications' 'Global Footprint Map'
- PCCW Global 'Cable Map' (29 meg pdf!)

If people know of other good maps please let me know.

It is also interesting to compare the current geographic structure of cables
to telegraph routes from an earlier era of global
See some telegraph maps at: