“With national and international news now practically a commodity online, the value of local and regional papers, Rob Curley, recenrtly appointed Vice President of Product Development , Newsweek Interactive1 says, is in using the Web to cover not only “big-J journalism” but also “small-J journalism”–events that rarely make headlines but loom large in our everyday lives. “We can’t out-CNN CNN. But we can make sure that no one out-Naples us.”
A placeblog, a hyperlocal site, is “an act of sustained attention to a particular place over time It’s about the lived experience of a place:
“That experience may be news, or it may simply be about that part of our lives that isn’t news but creates the texture of our daily lives: our commute, where we eat, conversations with our neighbors, the irritations and delights of living in a particular place among particular people. However, when news happens in a community, placeblogs often cover those events in unique and nontraditional ways, and provide a community watercooler to discuss those events.”
Google Maps, Google Earth, What?Where? Live Local Search (Microsoft beta) provide a local layer of commercial local data. Map Tools.org is a resource for users and developers in the open source mapping community. Open Source GIS6 attempts to build a complete index of Open Source / Free GIS related software projects. OpenStreetMap aims to create and provide “free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them.” If you want to see friends or strangers in your area, download Plazes, “a service you can use to add location awareness to other applications you frequently use”.