We're Launching MapperKeeper!

MapperKeeper is an online platform for building maps and quickly sharing them with others.

I grew up in South Carolina, which is located in Hurricane Alley. Consequently, I tracked 2016’s Hurricane Matthew intently as it ratcheted its way up the coast. I searched Twitter, streamed local news stations and eventually built an application for tracking the hurricane’s location. All of the information Twitter and Facebook users were providing was incredible and I was able to view spectacular images of local, real-time weather conditions that could only be attained through the power of crowd sourcing. It is amazing that social media platforms have made sharing text, photos and video incredibly intuitive and fast, creating a mesh of information that is so vital to a connected society. I was left wondering, if it is so easy to create and share these types of media, why is it so difficult to build and share maps?

The web provides an ideal medium for disseminating data, ideas, and experiences through the use of social media. We use services like Twitter and Facebook to connect our social network of friends, family and colleagues to the information we deem important. The speed at which this information can be expressed and consumed through the web has become increasingly fast due to these social media platforms. As a result, society as a whole is benefitting from and becoming reliant on the immediate sharing of ideas, photos, and videos.

One example that illustrates this phenomenon is the usage of Twitter data by the USGS to check the validity of their earthquake sensors. The ease at which we can post content to Twitter allows scientists to almost immediately verify if their sensors are reporting accurate data by checking Tweets in the incident area.

MapperKeeper wants to make building and sharing maps as easy as posting a tweet on Twitter or a photo on Facebook. This is accomplished by securely linking your social media accounts (currently Twitter and Facebook) to MapperKeeper. Once linked, you can post a picture of your map and a link to the interactive map with a single click. During Hurricane Matthew, anybody could have shared maps of emergency shelters, road hazards, flooding, and personal experiences with the speed they have come to expect from today’s modern technologies.

Through a simple platform for building maps, MapperKeeper aims to empower everybody to build and share maps.

We are launching our initial release this month and are looking for the platform to evolve as necessary to meet the needs of its growing community of users. We look forward to building a community of mappers and story tellers. So, let’s get mapping!

Written on April 9, 2017