No sooner had I picked up on one new online mapping framework, the OS Open Zoomstack, than another appears! Illustreets follows the usual formula, but with each new framework that gets released, mapping and visualising (big) data becomes ever easier and ever more spectacular — apparently. That is a admirable way forward, so long as users really understand what they are creating if it has been made so easy for them.
Gaining knowledge of data, statistics, mapping, visual communication, etc., are all very important to the creation of meaningful maps. Being able to create a ‘spectacular’ looking map is not in itself useful. Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) and all that type of commentary still applies. It is so easy to mis-represent information on a map. I’ve gone off-piste a little here as the benefits of new and improving mapping frameworks is only to be commended in increasing accessibility and understanding of maps and geospatial data among a wider audience.
Illustreets seems a little confusing at first glance, as their are odd references to CARTO (another mapping framework) and with data referenced to both the OS and Google sprinkled around the case study apps. This makes you wonder what sort of mash up this really is — perhaps just a connecting app between other apps and data sources? Anyway, still worth checking out.
Keep bringing them on.