Douwe Osinga's Blog: Mapsonomy

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Around the beginning of this year, my brother came around for a visit. Now his blogging about this trip might have been more adventurious than the actual undertaking, at least we did discuss some interesting ideas. We've always been interested in traveling, that's why we set up world66, so we were among other things talking about why you'd still want a paper travel guide. One of the things of course is maps & highlights.

What do you do when you plan to visit a new country and have a fresh travel guide? You flip to the overview map. Most of the modern travel guides superimpose highlights over these maps, so it gives you a nice impression of what's on offer and where everything is. Then later you start reading and build your plan.

Online travel guides usually don't have this property. You click from place to place of course, but you hardly get a sense of where you are. A few weekends later of python hacking and we can present mapsonomy. Start from an overview of the world and drill down to any detail you want. Cities are marked on the map and for any view we try to get out the travel highlights. Filtering might be suboptimal, but we can work on that. The overview in total is pretty cool.

And why this name, you might ask. Well, at some point we'd like to extend the interface to make it possible for anybody to put their content on these maps, whether where their friends live, where which birds live or where what happened. A foksonomy on a map if you will. But for now, check out mapsonomy.