Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Social media at work

I've been a LinkedIn member for over six years and have learned to use Groups by now. It's a great place to ask questions among peers, without bothering others who aren't interested in that singular itch of yours. While unfortunately used at times for trawling emails or marketing shamelessly, every once in a while I run across a brilliant idea. Robin Wilson a student at Southampton University, UK, posted the free GIS data links he found and simply asked for more on LinkedIn's GIS group. Well! to date he got almost four dozen replies and he'll post the results here.

(c) Chris Latham with permission

My takeaway is in French "donnant, donnant", less elegantly "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". Robin offered something and got it back in spades. Ed Parsons said innovation starts at the fringes and this is a sterling example of that. As I said here earlier:
This blog is dedicated to the amazing new tools available 'for the rest of us' tinkerers with a little bit of time, knowledge and enthusiasm to display information in beautiful maps that promote discourse (after hours mostly)...
As a footnote on LinkedIn, its usefulness was marginal for the first two years, then the suggested links really helped build my network, and in the last two years it's actually working its way back finding contacts in Houston and Calgary before that! The same way Google is not encyclopaedic but index searches - so a professional programmer is in more luck than an amateur medievalist like me - LinkedIn indexes itself and learns as your database grows... Food for thought as news of the world rages around new social networks! Anyway here's a map of my LinkedIn connections for different take on maps.