UMapper, geotagged tweets and the late Michael Foot

Last week UMapper announced a new feature to their service that makes it amazingly simple to build and customise a map that can show geotagged tweets based on any search you choose.

Today I have been following the flurry of tweets about the late Michael Foot (if you are about my age he might be an old hero).

In Less than 5 minutes thanks to UMapper and Cloudmade I was able to put this together. No doubt many of you could do much more imaginative things with UMapper. If Michael Foot doesn’t interest you then just change the search term in the bottom right hand corner of the map and search for tweets of your choice, or go build your own twitter map.

Interesting to see how London centric the tweets are. Pan the map or zoom out to see how the density varies.

At one level I think it is incredible that embedding an interactive map like this with social media real time feed is so simple and accessible to non technical people, who foresaw this 5 years ago or even 2 years ago? However in the same week that UMapper announced this new capability Platial one of the original darlings of community mapping and neogeography announced that they were ceasing operations, presumably because they had run out of money (apparently they had been running on volunteers and thin air for a while. One of the founders said

“Platial was a movement and it will be carried on a thousand fold. It is real and irrevocable. It put the power of maps in the hands of people and lets us see the world as an interconnected tapestry of stories and perspectives.

Sincerely, Di-Ann Eisnor”

What does that tell us? Maybe even movements need a business model.

Maybe someone out there will have a view? I feel a couple of posts on business models and sustainability coming on. More soon