Do you know which restaurants serve the most delicious food in your city? Where is the most beautiful park? Which swimming spots are less-known but stun with their beauty? While we try to make the best of our lives, it’s often impossible to explore the whole area in which we live, and we often pass indifferently by the hidden gems that we don’t know about. But, there is a way to discover them all: with community-generated maps. What are they, how do they work, and why are they so remarkable? Find it all out in this article!
What are Community-Generated Maps?
Who do you think knows the most about a certain region? The local explorers. But, they rarely have the opportunity to share their knowledge with other people. Community-generated maps are a solution to this problem.
A community-created map is simply a plan of the local area where various facilities and recreational zones are located and described by different users. Unlike traditional maps, they aren’t drawn by one creator, and they change over time, with new reviews and information emerging – directly from the members of the community. This way, other people receive a complex plan, an image of all the worthwhile venues in a certain region, prepared by the individuals who were truly there and experienced the atmosphere of the spots they marked – places that are often beautiful but lack proper recognition.
Community-Created Maps: The Challenges
Like any other community-generated content, such maps face some challenges. While they can help you find carnivals around the world, plan a road trip, or discover the best vegan restaurants in a given destination, the main potential issue with them is errors. However, unlike traditional maps, with the community-generated ones it is easier to eliminate the issues.
A typical map is less likely to have erroneous information, but when it does, it may take ages to correct it. Paper maps would have to be reprinted, and online ones require verification before any changes are introduced. Moreover, the information in these maps is likely to get outdated, and the updates will take time. With community-created maps, it’s a bit different.
While there is a risk of encountering users who add false information on purpose, other members of the community will spot them almost immediately and true them up. So, in the end, these maps are even more reliable than the traditional ones.
The other potential challenge for community-generated content is the number of users. One map may have hundreds of locals contributing to its development, others may have two or three people. Yet, it does not have to mean that the latter is worse than the former, but it may affect the time required for its full development.
How are Maps Used Nowadays?
While we are often not aware of that, maps have a plethora of uses nowadays. Have you ever traveled with Google Maps navigation? Did you know that its community-driven feature, traffic intensity, might have affected the route chosen for you? This is just one example of how it can affect our lives.
The second one is more business-oriented. Consider how often you look for certain amenities online, and what is the % of searches that you do via maps? Exactly. Community-generated content on maps has become inseparable from any physical business. Reviews, comments, finding the right facility – it’s all done through mapping.
Finally, community-generated maps may be used for tourism. Are you a fan of the medieval ages, going on a road trip to Europe? You may check the European castles map to find the best towns to visit. Are you planning a vacation in Barcelona? You can check a map of the city prepared by other tourists, where you will find the best attractions, restaurants and beaches, all with descriptions, reviews and photos. The uses extend far further – the only limitation is your imagination.
Having learned all the information, why don’t you create your own community map? All you have to do is download YouMap, choose a theme, build a map, and share it with other users!
Did you like to travel? Then you should also read about the best social media apps for travelers!