The History of Online Map Making
Map making has gone through many changes over the centuries. Those changes were primarily associated with the use of new scientific and technical tools. Then came the rise of the middle class and increased trading and commerce throughout the world. This led to an increase in demand for maps and other geographic information.
A new era in the art and science of map making began with the arrival of computer technology. Computers brought with them the ability to draw graphics and add styles to data. As a result, online mapping became an exciting possibility. Some of the first web maps used static image of the map, which required panning and reloading the page. However, by the mid 1990s, people were thinking about how to share maps on the Internet. Eventually, two companies with the same vision made it happen.
Google and Mapquest were the first consumer-facing web mapping services. They combined map visualization, driving directions, and pan map location into a single application. At the time, this was revolutionary. It was a huge improvement over the static images of maps that had been posted on HTML pages in the past.
Other companies soon followed the Google example. Mapbox, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Foursquare all launched services to map exploration. There was even a free software package called TomTom that helped you find your way to your destination. But for a long time, cartography was a closed shop.
With the advent of the internet, mapping became the next big thing. For the first time, everyone could get access to vast geographical datasets. This opened up possibilities for collaborative, customized, and personalized maps. Even better, these maps were interactive.
One of the most interesting developments in the history of map making was the mash-up. A mash-up is a mashup of one or more elements of the map. Early interactive web maps were clunky and slow. In the mash-up, a graphical user interface (GUI) is mash-upged with a large database to create a multi-dimensional map that allows viewers to choose what they want to see.
Although the concept of a mash-up was not entirely new, it was the application of it that got people excited. So what exactly was a mash-up? To the untrained eye, a mash-up is a simple combining of two or more web pages, but it can be much more complex.
The most interesting mash-up is a fusion of multiple maps that display different information on the same map. This is a big deal in the mash-up world because it allows the viewer to choose what they wish to see on the map. And because the mash-up is a graphical interface, it can be displayed on many different devices.
Perhaps the mash-up’s most important accomplishment was its impact on the mapping industry. Online map making changed the way people use and understand maps. From static, hand-drawn images to interactive, animated, and mash-ups, the industry has come a long way. Today, over a billion maps are viewed monthly through Google Maps and Apple Maps.https://www.youtube.com/embed/QRR9fwopHpI