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
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.