map mashups: collaboration

Open Collaboration

Opening a map to general collaboration so that anyone can add locations or make modifications to the map is an interesting way to engage the community. Journalists need to use this capability with care because unfiltered material can appear on the site. Another real problem with user contributions is the posting of incomplete or inaccurate information and information that isn't correctly formatted. A map with grossly inaccurate information is not an asset for the news organization or the community. Successful open collaboration generally requires that journalists filter and vet the information provided by the community.

The actual process of creating an open collaboration map is simple.

Set up the base map as in Step One of this tutorial.

Bring up the invite collaborators form just as in Step Two.

You can still add collaborators through email (1) and provide instructions (2). Checking the Allow anyone to edit this map checkbox (3) permits anyone with the URL to the map to make changes.

If the news organization is going to promote the map, a good practice is to take the URL for the map and use a URL shortener to make typing in the address easier.