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GHS Newsroom
  • Mapping I: GateHouse newsrooms plot for more reader engagement

  • Today and tomorrow we will highlight some ways GateHouse newsrooms are using interactive maps, from plotting breaking news to providing a standing resource for readers.

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  • Today and tomorrow we will highlight some ways GateHouse newsrooms are using interactive maps, from plotting breaking news to providing a standing resource for readers.
    Maps were one of the first Web features newsrooms began to embed. Why?
    • More reader engagement and more reader time on site: Time on site is becoming an increasingly important measure of a Web site's success.
    • Perfect for evergreen or standing content of local resources: Local markets, polling places, schools, parks ...
    • Content differentiation: You can do things with maps online that you cannot do in print, such as allow readers to contribut their own plot points directy.
    • Many applications and easy to use: This Mashable.com post lists some of the many options available. If you are just beginning, try Google or Yahoo. Umapper has some great tools, too.
    Now some examples:
    1] Here's a classic pothole map from the Springfield [IL] Journal Register. Readers are invited to e-mail information about their own worst-pothole finds. Once your map is built, you can embed it in any Zope story. Click here to see the map at sj-r.com.
    View Springfield pothole patrol 2010 in a larger map
     
    2] This map at MySuburbanLife.com features locations of farmers markets in suburban Chicago. In this case, readers are invited to directly edit the map, plotting locations of their own farmers markets. Click here to see the map at MySuburbanLife.com.
    View Area Farmers Market in a larger map
    3] When you're having a big weather event, an embedded live weather map is all you need. That's what the Norwich [CT] Bulletin did when the Northeast was hit with record rain and floods in March. Here's an example.
    Page 2 of 2 -
    Coming tomorrow: More examples, including tracking the path of a meteor and highlighting neighborhood issues.
    Please contact me at cbiondi@gatehousemedia.com if you have questions about online mapping.

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