This map is the first version of a more ambitious project that I am working on. Right now, it works like a tool for editors to map interesting news and events. An editor can create a collection in Virtual Earth and use the rss feed generated from the collection to feed the map. The tool is interesting in a way, because it gives editors control over what they want to display. They do not have to come to us, the producers, to make changes on the map.
The editors used the tool in a few projects and they seemed to like it. At one point, we had 3 or 4 projects using this tool from various sections on the site.
I have to thank Phil Zepeda, a fellow producer from msnbc, for helping me with this project. We had only about 3 days to build this out from scratch. The projectâ€™s original intention was to accompany our bigger hurricane tracker map to cover the Hurricane Ike. It was supposed to be a one time interactive that is created to show the aftermath of the Hurricane Ike.
I plan make it plots data from different type of databases or shapefiles to make this tool more useful. Chris Cast, a fellow producer, has been helping with collecting mappable data like airports, oil rigs and fire reports that we can plot on this map. I am excited about what this tool will do when we move to the next version.