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Map Software for Journalists

News stories often have a geography component, e.g., crime scenes, interesting food and drink venues, range of earthquakes effects. A visual representation of the geography of  a story can enhance its presentation, and often can be the essential element of the story.

ZeeMaps is an ideal web-based map software for posting small interactive maps along with news stories, depicting the locations, routes, and regions of interests.

Several notable news organizations routinely use ZeeMaps to map out their stories:

1. Riots after the Johannes Mehserle Murder Trial Verdict in Oakland:

On the morning of January 1, 2009, Oscar Grant was fatally shot by a police officer, Johannes Mehserle. In the resulting trial, Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder. On the day the verdict was announced, there were rioting and looting in the streets of Oakland, and the Bay Area News Group made an interactive map showing the location of the riots, the street areas that were blocked, fires and looting locations, etc. as shown below. The map demonstrates the power of ZeeMaps with customized icons, map legend, video in information bubbles, regions demarcation, etc. The interactivity of the map makes it stand on its own as an interesting geo-narrative of the rioting that happened that day.

2. Wired 3-G performance study:

When the iPhone first came out in 2008, there were lots of concerns about the network performance of the phone carriers’ network and whether it could handle to traffic. Wired.com did a study of the network performance across the globe: but they did not have to get the data themselves. They were able to use ZeeMaps to crowd source the data and were able to effectively carry out the study and report on the network performance within a matter of days.

3. Here’s a story about Craft beer in Milwaukee. The story has a map badge embedded on the left side panel, which takes you to the interactive map of craft beer spots in Milwaukee.

All these maps were created with the ZeeMaps web-based map software, without any programming by the journalists.

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