The origins of Mapedia first stirred in the Summer of 2009, when I, Chris Thomas and Wilson Stockman were having a lunch-break conversation in a greasy-spoon cafe in Soho, London. I commented that I felt there was a hidden history, all around London, in terms of its buildings, and their origins. Look up at almost any older London building, and there in brick and stone is a past, that is now mostly lost and forgotten. This brought about the conclusion that, though maps like Google Maps were a great innovation. That they had no real concept of time. They only captured the layout of the present. In effect, they were only skimming the surface of what a map really could record about our environment.
A few months later, Wilson and I agreed to work on a web project together, and were just waiting for lightning to strike, ideas wise. I saw an article on a London artist, that had created a map based on the experiences and memories of residents locales. A map of context and local colour, Mods and Rockers, The Good Life in Surbiton, landmark concerts at The Marque etc. This reminded me of antique maps, with their "Here be Dragons!", and an old 50's Encyclopaedia I had once read, with a map of the world, with its resources, cultures and animals laid out. It also brought back the conversation to me about mapping buildings history and this triggered an idea that we both agreed we could work on... Mapedia was born!
To create a user generated, WIKI, evolving map, that charts not only the commercial and every day locations, but also the History, Heritage, Culture and Greater Context of each local community and its surrounding landscape.
The State of Play
As with most websites, what you see at launch, is not Mapedia as we envisage it when "complete". Right now, we are focusing on the base WIKI functionality. We have the core technologies and interfaces in place that empower you to Add locations and to then improve the information on those locations, with Title Images, Image Galleries, Descriptions, Comments and Reviews and more. Editing of existing items is in place.
Our key concept of an evolving map, will follow, if we can make Mapedia commercially successful enough to support that development work.
This is of course a classic chicken and egg situation. What would make Mapedia unique as a map, has little commercial value. But we feel it is the core of Mapedia, and so we will be populating the map with Historical, Heritage and Contextual locations, plus a smattering of more standard commercial locations, such as Pubs, Restaurants, Shops and Services. These may seem purely commercial, but they in themselves WILL become historical locations as time passes on.
What you see now, is we hope, just a base-camp. In future we plan to scale to much greater heights. We have solid goals, plans and proto-types we are working on, to bring to life the real Mapedia. But for now, we need to establish the basics on which we will later build....