Other People's Data and Wiki Websites This article originally appeared in Geospatial Solutions Magazine's Net Results column of June 1, 2003. Other Net Results articles about the role of emerging technologies in the exchange of spatial information are also online.

1. Introduction and Glossary   2. Who's Zoomin' Who?   3. Public Science   4. Cast of Thousands

Cast of Thousands

Despite links to the task forceís Web site, though, thereís never enough outreach to satisfy OakMapperís researchers, who remain eager to inform the public about their Web site and the disease in general. Capturing metrics on the publicís use of a collaborative Web site is sometimes more challenging than the original goal of the project. Fortunately, the submissions themselves help guide future development and outreach efforts. For instance, OakMapper education efforts in Marin County seem to have generated more public submissions there than in most counties where education efforts are underway, validating duplication of the same outreach process in other counties.

Though Seamon and Tuxen manage already successful collaborative spatial Web sites, both want better metrics on their users in order to better match site to audience. Though he doesnít yet know exactly how many people have actually rented property because of the SFProspector site, for instance, Seamon is determined to find out and, if possible, increase the number over time. Tuxen plans to conduct a user survey to find out how well OakMapper has reached beyond the GIS expert community to the general public. OakMapper users seem to trust the process; the majority (more than 90 percent) submit their e-mail address, an optional item, with their online reports.

Judging by these two sites, collaboration encourages innovation. Seamon and Tuxen arenít just curious about how people currently use their sites, but also how people want to use them. Itís clear that both take pride in serving their users. The collaborative input advances their agendas at a wikiwiki pace.


1. Introduction and Glossary   2. Who's Zoomin' Who?   3. Public Science   4. Cast of Thousands