Saturday, March 25, 2006


I've just taken a look at the new Schmap city guide: pretty impressive.* This is the sort of Web 2.0 thing that will be hitting us over the next few years I suppose. It takes various bits of freeware or creative commons stuff (photos etc) and sticks it all in something between an e-book, a photo slideshow and Google Earth.

It's still in beta and I think there are a few flaws both fiddling (I think the font is too small) and more substantial. Primarily, there's no option for downloading new guides from within the player. I couldn't figure out whether I should store files I download myself or awkwardly copy it into the Schmap folder in the administrative bit of my docs and settings. After all, that's where the original city file I downloaded with the player resides. Also, newly irritatingly evangelical Linux afficianado that I am, pity it's Windows only.

But don't let that stop you having a glance. Shmap is well worth the look and I think will be a formidable addition to online work distractions as the Summer rolls in!

* Full disclosure: they have shortlisted one of my photos off Flickr for the Dublin Guide, which is how I came across it. As their blog mentions reveal, that shortlisting process is an astute marketing ploy! I should also mention that it's not entirely clear that use of the photos is compatible with the Creative Commons licences under which pictures are used. Like others, I suspect it's not. Which is why they get you to accept another licence agreement.

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