Thursday, September 03, 2009

Google's My Maps - A Protest Organizer's Best Friend

Ignoring the politics of the Tea Party Movement for a moment, I have to say, I'm really impressed with their use of Google's My Maps to help plan out their protests. See what I mean?

Their approach highlights some novel best practices:

  • Use the description area to summarize and outline the event
  • Highlight where the protest will start, stop and the route it will take inbtween. This is useful for planning, as well as for folks who show up late.
  • Highlight places where folks can get food/drinks, which is a nice courtesy for out of towners
  • Metro and bus stops are highlighted to make it easy to arrive and leave the event, again, assuming you don't know the area well*
  • Bus dropoff points are suggested to avoid traffic congestion and general confusion
  • Multiple collaborators can manage the map, which means that there's not a single person responsible for maintaining it
  • The high view count (299,000+!) helps to show the general interest in the event
  • The comment section gives folks a chance to coordinate and psyche each other up (or, if you're an outsider, get just a bit scared)
  • The map is embedded on your website, which means that it will be easy to find and makes the website look especially savvy.

Alas, I won't be able to actually attend the rally that day. I bet it's going to be really interesting one, though.

*I think there's just a tiny bit ironic that people protesting the government and how inept and wasteful are using public transportation to get to and from said event.

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