Geographic brushing 2.0

Quite a while ago, in 1989, Mark Monmonier used the term „geographic brushing“ in the context of exploratory geostatistical analysis. When one specific representation of data is highlighted, another representation of the same data also gets highlighted. While Monmonier can be regarded as a pioneer, working with scatterplots and maps to reveal insights, today the geographic brushing and linking method is widely used in the Geoweb-World of Google Maps mashups and virtual earth applications – Try either or both of the websites and locr – you can bring up a set of thumbnails and a map with markers for each of the images on it. By moving your mouse over any of the thumbnail photographs, the corresponding location marker gets highlighted and you gain a much better understanding of how the images relate to the map and different places on that map. The same idea works for videos, comments, panoramas… Now if I am planning a walk and want to prepare myself by studying the route, I quite like to have a view where I can get the full context. I want photographs to give me a vivid idea about the landscape I can expect, I want to know where the photographs were taken by having the location markers highlighted on the map. Then, I want to see the location of the places on an elevation profile line to give me an idea whether I will be about to climb or descend when I get to the viewpoint. I also want to hear a sound taken at that location and how about some comments that other people left there? I want the full context and I want it all in one place, all in view! – I want geographic brushing to the max!

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