PORTLAND, Ore.-Bloggers and Web site owners can start building maps with their community members in seconds by using a new MapKit from Platial.com. Users can sign up at http://www.platial.com/mapkit, cut and paste a snippet of code into the site, and in seconds theyre able to easily create and share places of interest directly with their readers. Because theres no new programming to learn, the interface is simple, easy-to-use, and can be customized to complement any Web site. This new community-building map tool once available exclusively at Platial.com can be used on any Web site and most blogs.
The Platial (pronounced PLAY-shul) MapKit social mapping tool enables users to enhance their blogs and sites with geotags. Social media expert and Micropersuasion.com blogger Steve Rubel predicts that geotagging will become part of virtually every Web site one can think of.
WordPress (http://www.WordPress.org) a free, personal publishing platform for bloggers is integrating the Platial MapKit into its offering to bloggers. WordPress users will be able to embed Platial maps into posts and as persistent pages in their blogs.
Our users loved being able to build maps on Platial with others in their communities, but wanted a way to have that same experience on their own Web sites, explains Di-Ann Eisnor, Platial co-founder and CEO. With MapKit, individuals and groups can create maps that are relevant to them, just like on Platial, but do so in the context of their own community Web sites.
More than 4,000 sites are already publishing Platial user-created maps, building community and generating content. The blogger behind the The Accidental Yogist Web site was one of the first Platial users to publish her map. Her community of yoga enthusiasts has created a map of 67 yoga studios in the Los Angeles area, and more are added every week. The map is also available on Platial, so visitors to Platial.com can benefit from this communitys work.
Platial has created a clever Web 2.0-ish applet. Being able to just drop a customizable map into a site, with a few clicks will be useful to non-coders and coders alike, says Dan Gillmor, director of the Center for Citizen Media.
Initially available in beta form in Dec. 2005, the Platial online atlas adds a new dimension to blogs and other online communities by enabling people to map and tag their experiences, memories and opinions to specific places that others can explore. The sites 75,000 users are discovering places and sharing maps related to hundreds of topics, such as adventure, history, politics, music, architecture and various life experiences. MapKit now offers that capability all across the Web.
Platial.com is the user-created atlas a free resource where thousands of people around the world share and discover stories, images and videos about all kinds of Places. Platial has been featured in Wired, NPRs All Things Considered, National Geographic Online, The New York Times and ABC News online. Based in Portland, Ore., Platial launched in December 2005 by successful Internet entrepreneur Di-Ann Eisnor and her business partner co-founders, Jason Wilson and Jacob Olsen. Early stage investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Omidyar Network, Sherpalo Ventures, Georges Harik, Will Hearst, Jerry Neumann and Jack Dangermon. Visit http://www.platial.com for more information.