Wikimapia

A small blog entry over on the C Net site tipped me off to a new time-waster on the Internet. It's called Wikimapia, and it combines Google Maps with a wiki. They describe themselves as " a project to describe the whole planet Earth."

Go to http://www.wikimapia.org and you are centered over the Google Maps satellite view of the earth (as opposed to the global view you get at Google Earth.) The wiki-approach is that they want users to highlight interesting places and then add descriptions. The founders of Wikimapia are Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev, "inspired by Google maps and Wikipedia."

I started by looking at two cities with a high concentration of landmarks -- Washington DC and New York City. Zoom down to a high enough resolution, and you will see rectangles around certain features. Click on the rectangles, and you will see user-described descriptions of these items of interest. Scrolling around Washington and New York show that all the big, and most of the medium points of interest have been highlighted. I zoomed over to London and saw that people have been busy there, too, marking the many points of interest.

I decided to get a little closer to home, and zoomed in on my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. Most of the big landmarks, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jacobs Field, Quicken Loans Arena, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, have been highlighted. A short walk up the hill from the Museum takes you to Garfield's Monument at Lake View Cemetary, the final resting place of President James Garfield. It hadn't been highlighted, so I made that my first contribution to Wikimapia.

Scrolling over the west side of Cleveland, I saw that the airport had been tagged, but not the NASA Lewis Research Center right next door. So I added it to the database. While scrolling around, I noticed a number of high schools had been marked, but not my alma mater. Nothing like showing a little school spirit thirty years later -- a couple clicks, and it was added.

I'll leave it up to Eric Olsen to add the World Headquarters of Blogcritics.com - which is in a brand-new, stunning 10 story glass and marble office tower over in the southeastern suburbs. (The part about the southeastern suburbs is true.)