Beta version of platial

Finally, there is now a beta version of the platial platform I mentioned few weeks ago.

Platial enables anyone to find, create and use meaningful maps of Places that matter to them. We hope it can connect people, neighborhoods, cities and countries through a citizen-driven common context that goes beyond geopolitical boundaries.

What is interesting is they way the designer came up with this idea of collaborative atlas:

The specific concept for building an online, shared mapping tool came after Di-Ann and I had moved to Amsterdam in 2004. We encouraged a lot of people to come visit. (...) We made them maps, like everyone does, of the basic neighborhood amenities. (...) We ended up with a kitchen drawer stuffed full of these notes. It was our collection of Places, plus menus for take out, magazine articles listing kid friendly museums, schedules of parades, and a few brochures and tour books for attractions that seemed interesting enough. A few maps got lost, loaned out or recombined, others got photocopied or emailed or taped to front doors as invitations. Then we moved back to the United States, and that drawer of Places lost its context, it became useless in Portland. We wanted a way to preserve all that knowledge in a powerful, useful, contextual way. We started asking my friend Jake about the technology side of building something to address this, and discovered he'd been working on, and thinking through some of the same issues

Why do I blog this? I like this idea and their tagline is quite straightforward: "Find the Places you always hoped existed - Your Collaborative Atlas - Create the maps you always wanted to share". It's actually a new step in the 'annotation of space' kinds of applications which will grow up thanks to the users' contributions.