Thursday, July 10, 2008

Online Mapping and Community Journalism

Jeff Ueland teaches GIS (Geographic Information Science) for the Department of Geography at Bemidji State University. He led a session called Mapping For Interactive Media for Bemidji area journalists involved with Northern Community Radio’s community website project at the Bemidji public library on July 8th.

Jeff said most people organize their lives around spatial concepts and relationships. It’s easy for us to relate to maps, because they represent the types of relationships our brains are used to. Since community journalism is about getting more information from online sources, maps can provide a solid background for illustrating a story.

Some resources for creating online maps or mashups are Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth, Google Documents and Flickr or Picasa (for photos). There is a Google Maps wiki with information and tutorials at Another useful website is

The journalism club will meet again in about two weeks at a Bemidji State University computer lab, where participants will actually be able to create maps. Everyone is welcome Listen to KAXE for more information or email Maggie at KAXE dot org. And let us know if you’d like to create a community journalism club in your town!

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