CartoDB and MapBox Fight On

The web mapping and visualization world is one of many choices. Google, Esri, and many other solutions give users the ability to visualize spatial data in so many ways. Two that I’m quite fond of are CartoDB and MapBox (none of which should surprise regular readers). This week good things are happening around both projects.

CartoDB is an O’Reilly Media Publishing Startup Showcase finalist.

…O’Reilly Media announced the finalists for its Publishing Startup Showcase, and we’re very excited to say that we’ve been selected as one of ten startups.

It’s an honor to be included in a group of such progressive companies who are disrupting and impacting the publishing industry, and as a non-traditional company in the space, we are humbled.

That’s pretty awesome news for the CartoDB team. Google Fusion tables is pretty powerful, but it has almost no visualization tools built in. That’s where CartoDB steps in. It gives you all that great “fusion table” power, plus some really awsome visualization stuff. Esri users can leverage Arc2Earth Sync which can synchronize your local Esri data with CartoDB.

Tom MacWright of MapBox wrote and article on the MediaShift Idea Lab Blog about the new OpenStreetMap editor that the Knight Foundation has sponsored.

At MapBox, we believe that the collaborative approach of OpenStreetMap is the future of mapping. By adopting local knowledge and local management of data, it’s possible to build a complete, accurate, and freer map of the world. How OpenStreetMap gets its data is essential – the most trusted source is always on the ground, with GPS units and local knowledge. But for much of the world, this isn’t an immediate option because of distance and time. Instead, home users edit the map, referencing GPS tracks made by others and satellite data. So far, this has been a tricky process. OpenStreetMap’s editing tools are complex and do little to help users understand details like road classifications. We want tools for contributing map data to be accessible to anyone, in any language, with any level of computing skill.

I’ve always felt OSM was held back by it’s editing tools. They are designed by nerds for geeks. When you understand how they work, they are very powerful. Put my Mom in front of them and she’s quickly typing into the URL bar. If you haven’t seen the editor in action, the video below will give a good overview. The whole article is definitely worth a read for anyone who has developed or used a web mapping editor application.

Oh and in case you didn’t know, Arc2Earth Sync can also open your ArcGIS Mxd documents directly in TileMill. Mind = Blown

Mind Blown

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