Where Tags and Blogmaps

Steven Johnson, founder and CEO of outside.in did the closing keynote for the first day of Where 2.0 yesterday evening. He started by talking about cholera and his book on the subject called The Ghost Map.

From cholera and Doctor John Snow’s map that ultimately solved the mystery of the disease, Steven moved on to placeblogging, geotagging, and maps, suggesting that by mapping blog posts, we can learn so much about life and the neighborhoods we live in, which is the mission of outside.in.

Steven touched on some new stuff that is coming like extensible where tags and the ability to automatically capture the posting activities of part time placebloggers like me. The details on all that will be available from outside.in in a couple weeks.

He then went on to show some cool new things like blogmaps that showcase the places a given blogger has written about (but also showcases all the other bloggers who are writing about that place). Here is the blogmap for The Gotham Gal. Using the blogmap (which will soon become a widget) you can navigate across a city from place to place and placeblog to placeblog.

Steven also showcased a very cool time-based blogmap of downtown brooklyn that shows how the blog conversation has changed over time. I’ll add a link to that as soon as it goes up on the outside.in site this morning.

I am biased for sure, because Union Square Ventures is an investor in outside.in and I am on the board, but I found the keynote inspiring on many levels. I believe in the social media/citizen journalism revolution and I think that local bloggers can and will replace local newspapers as the dominant form of local media in the next decade. And hopefully the vision that Steven outlined today will help lead the way.