Mapping Mideast Bloggers

After a rather hurried afternoon and evening of a) learning Microsoft’s Virtual Earth API, and b) Figuring out how to twist and bend it into the shapes I wanted, I’ve managed to integrate TTLB’s Middle East blog tracking with Virtual Earth’s rather impressive mapping capabilities.
The new map-based tracking page class=”textlink”>is here.
I’ve made a first pass through the regional blogs that TTLB has been tracking thus far, and have done my best to assign them locations appropriately. I didn’t get through every single last one, however, and for some blogs, it is a bit difficult to determine exactly where their authors are located.
So: if you are a blogger actually blogging from the conflict zone, by all means, please e-mail me and let me know your location. Ultimately, I need to plug your location in as a latitude and longitude (i.e., 31.7800 35.2300 for Tel Aviv), but if you live in a major city that is shown on the maps, just tell me that and I can look up the lat/long.
Even if you are not a blogger in the Middle East, however, I need help!. There are many things I could do with the existing map integration and blog tracking to vastly improve their usefulness in tracking the conflict — but there are only so many hours in a day, and I’ve only got these ten fingers pounding on the keys.
I am looking, therefore, for volunteers who would be willing to help me with online research and general gofering. Tasks would include things such as hunting down the latitude and logitude for bloggers in the region and other ‘net searches. Requirements are that you be a blogger with an established weblog and be willing to put up with me — other than that, anyone may apply! In exchange for such assistance, I’ll list you & your blog on the tracking page as an Editorial Lackey, or somesuch. If you’re interested — you guessed it: e-mail me.
That’s enough for one day. Goodnight to all, and to those in the conflict zone: may you and yours find safety, peace, and freedom….

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12 thoughts on “Mapping Mideast Bloggers”

  1. Hmmm , if you map the actual location of a Middle East blogger what happens if they are Pro-Israel and Hezbollah gets it’s hands on the map ?

  2. Do you really think putting the precise physical locations of bloggers in war zones is a good idea?
    Isn’t that sort of like publishing the spy’s address?

  3. I’ll urge you to randomly displace any exact address by +- 0.25 degree (about 15 miles) in both latitude and longitude.
    And thank you for a great service!

  4. Ratt / Jackie:
    Very good point. However, the maps are not displaying any bloggers locations to any real degree of precision. All of the bloggers in Beiruit, for example, are shown in the exact same spot on the map, which is simply a point roughly near the center of the city that I picked for that purpose.
    So: I don’t believe the map is providing any information that could actually be dangerous in itself. Any blogger in a war zone should of course be thinking of their safety and whether it is wise to be blogging at all — and whether they even want to reveal their location down to the city level. But for those bloggers that have chosen to report their locations, I don’t think showing those locations appoximately on a map changes their risk…


  6. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will get in hot water if they were to post exact lat long’s. You can figure out all you want to know by reading the news and looking up the specific city on a map without getting anyone in trouble.

  7. TTBL is Mapping Mideast Bloggers

    N. Z. Bear is mapping Mideast bloggers. He has a fascinating interactive map of regional blogs.
    He’s asking for some help with this project. You can get the details here.

  8. Thank you for providing this service. Really puts a human face on the humans on both sides of this stupid war.

  9. Mapping Mideast Bloggers

    I believe he is adequately protecting their location. He might want to randomly move the point for the Beiruit bloggers by the +- 0.25 degree (about 15 miles) in both latitude and longitude suggested by htom, but it is still interesting to see appro…

  10. Try this:
    You can enter the name of the geographic name, the type (city, etc.), and the country and the Getty site will provide you with search results. Click on the result and the latitude/longitude in degrees/minutes and in decimal format.
    Here’s what it found for Sidon, Lebanon:
    Lat: 33 33 00 N degrees minutes Lat: 33.5500 decimal degrees
    Long: 035 22 00 E degrees minutes Long: 35.3667 decimal degrees

  11. hey nz,
    also want to say thanks for your re-vamped and re-coded ecosystem maps. way kewl.
    keep up the good work.

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