Interactive maps are a new way of visualizing social justice issues. They allow you to combine the new technologies of the Internet along with the visual appeal of a map to present an issue or subject more clearly.
Christian Kreutz blogs about maptivism and discusses the very positive effects that interactive mapping can have in helping solve social justice issues. Kreutz discusses how these digital maps can be updated immediately with real time information. They are also very accessible to the public on the Internet, and more and more volunteers are contributing to help in the efforts to bring the awareness of certain justice issues to as many people as possible. A few examples of successful and very influential interactive maps have been the Green Map System, Eight Maps, and World Mapper. The Green Map System was created in order to bring awareness about natural and cultural resources in Gambia, and also to make the community aware of the environmental hazards and challenges the country is facing. Eight Maps was a controversial map that was created in San Francisco to map out certain people who support a campaign against same sex marriage. This map does become an issue of privacy but still brings to light an issue in the community. The World Mapper interactive map is very interesting; it shows the ecological footprint that each country is leaving on the world by shading and coloring different sections according to damage being done and the efforts being met.
Mark Luckie is another blogger who discusses other unique and innovative maps on the web today. He discusses how new interactive maps provide the viewer with such a range of data visualization and information to make the viewer aware of the issue at hand. A few of the interesting maps mentioned are Away We Go, Public 911, and Flu Tracker. The Away We Go map was based off the movie “Away We Go” and asked music fans to plot their music related memories on the map. Each post could be browsed by artist, track, or location and you could click on and listen to the audio clip mentioned. The Public 911 map plots the recent 911 class in the area on the interactive map and shows both active and closed calls. This map is planning on being added to many more cities in the US. And the Flu Tracker map marks the cases of swine flu reported all over the world. Users can zoom in to see the details of each case and see which locations has the highest case.
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