Google recently added a collaboration feature to the “My Maps” area of Google Maps. Similar to the collaborative document editing in Google Docs, when you’ve made a map you can click the “Collaborate” link and share your map with specific people or the entire world. What’s cool is that when you do the latter, you’ve effectively created a map wiki that anyone can edit, expand upon, and help maintain.
After messing around with the new collaboration feature for a bit, it occurred to me that we should make a map where we hackers can add our own markers and share interests and projects with each other. It might be a good way to network with people around you, and it’s also just cool to see what projects people are working on around the world.
So I went ahead and created the hackers in your neighborhood, an open-access collaborative map that we can use to map the hacker world. Some of my favorite hackers at Make and Craft have added themselves to the map already, but I’d love to see how far we can push this… maybe it’ll become too many data points for gmaps to handle.
Just connect to the map, log in to your Google account, and you’ll find an “Edit” button on the left. Clicking this will put the map in edit mode, where you can drag a new marker onto the map for yourself. Toss your name into the title and put your interests and project websites in the description field.
If you have a programming or robotics club, toss that in there too and give it a red marker or something.
I should mention something else about the collaborative feature. As you can see above, it looks like PT from Makezine has tagged my digital hood with some mapfiti.
The one downside of the collaboration feature is that someone might end up vandalizing your work. In reality, though, most of these open-collaborative projects end up working really well just on good faith and community policing. It’s why large open source projects work. It’s why Wikipedia works. Frankly, I think Phil’s Make: tag looks pretty sweet over Minneapolis anyway.
The Hackers in Your Neighborhood – Link