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Tag Archives: comments

Mashups Week Two- Maps and More


Click above for an interactive map.

Above is a mashup map I did today plotting the comments received from
our first post on the subject.  By using the comments, I plotted the
ip address geographic location with the comment made by each user.  By
combining this available information, you get a relatively good view
(albeit slightly off geographically) of where the comments are coming
from.  While there was only a few comments (11) compared
the total scale of the map, you can use information like this to
assign a geographic dimension to information.
On another note, comments when emailed on this particular
configuration of WordPress contain a pretty detailed degree of
information regarding the individual user- ip address, WhoIs lookup
information, and email addresses.  While I did not include this
information on the map, you can use this as an example of how much
data users can leak out without really always knowing to whom it is
going, or how said information will be used.
We’re using the example of Google Maps as tool for mashups in that
they allow these new configurations to take place, and repurpose and
retool information in an entirely new way.
An incredibly interesting and controversial use of this tool was the
Prop 8 Maps we discussed in class on Tuesday.  In this case, an
anonymous group mashed up the donor lists in support of Proposition 8
in California with Google Maps. This took publicly available
information and placed it in a newly accessible and searchable format,
setting off a great degree of debate over the use of mashups for
personal data outside of ones control.
What do you think about a map such as this?  Do you think its fair to
use public data in new ways to reconfigure how information is viewed?
Or, given the extremely political and partisan nature of this debate,
is this over the line?  Can you envision ways in which information
like this may get out of hand?