Google have gone an awfully long way to changing how we view geographic information. Google Maps and Google Earth have allowed us to digitally explore our world like never before. A new site wants to take things one step further however.
Collaborate.org launched this week at the Future in Review conference. It’s aim is to bring geospatial data to the masses via over 2 million different data layers that can be overlaid on top of maps.
“We want to harness the collective knowledge of the online global community, sharing expertise and enthusiasm,” said company CEO Kevin Montgomery. “We are providing worldwide geospatial infrastructure to empower people.”
The site is built upon World Wind, an open source platform developed by NASA. It’s kinda like Google Earth but on an open source platform that allows users to develop and interact with it.
“It’s an interface for that spatial data and puts it in the native context of the real world. It’s a way to allow innovation to occur.” said Patrick Hogan, the apps project developer at NASA.
The range of possible applications are limitless. For instance, they believe they can provide real-time geomapping of all tweets made in the world or provide mapping of all flights as they zip around the world.
The more people contribute to the environment, the richer the data available to users.
“Technologically, it’s big data leveraging the cloud with community crowdsourcing moderating the data,” Montgomery said.
Suffice to say it is early days, but this looks like a project that is very much worth keeping an eye on. You can find out more about it in the video below.