Our little ‘NewsMap’ application attracted more attention than we ever expected, and must faster than we could ever have imagined. I’m really grateful for the complimentary references and links from people like Dan Gillmor and Jeff Jarvis… and I’m sorry we didn’t have anything more tangible we could show people. But we do now.
The NewsMap demo site shows most (but not yet all) of the application’s functionality, including most notably the interaction between map and sequential sidelist (which you won’t have seen on the initial Sky News examples). So if you click on the first item in the sidelist, you’ll see a ‘forward’ arrow linking to item #2 in the sequence, and so on. This, to me, is the killer function: allowing me to tell a story, from start to finish, based on geographic points. (To use Dan Gillmor’s phrase, it allows you to tell a story that moves in space.)
I mentioned we were working on a polygon feature: that work is now complete, and is being tested to within an inch of its life. Mapmakers will be able to draw any number of coloured polygons on the map, by clicking to fix the corners. Click three times, and you get a triangle. Click a fourth time, and it becomes a rectangle. (And so on.) We don’t propose to allow an on/off function for the end-user, although I assume it’s feasible.