Google Maps: an innovative journalistic tool

Who knew Google Maps could be such a great tool for Journalists?

I certainly didn’t. Before my Online Journalism tutorial this week, I thought Maps was only useful for getting directions to the beach and looking at your house on Street View.
Oh, how wrong I was!

It’s not surprising that in this digital age, journalists have found a new use for Google Maps. The tool is useful for illustrating stories about a particular area, and allows readers to engage with the information. I imagine it would be useful to document the route of a product or plot the path of an environmental disater.

For example, below is a map I created, plotting the route of a police chase that occured earlier this month, on the 12th of August.

Image

The above is so much more interesting and easier to understand than reading

The teen allegedly rammed a police car at about 11.30am while avoiding tyre spikes set up on the Cunningham Highway at Willowbank.

He then allegedly drove at an officer and rammed two police cars at 12.10pm when he avoided road spikes on Waste Facility Road at Bromelton.

Police will allege he then abandoned the vehicle on Kurragong Drive at Jimboomba.

(news article by Tanya Westhorp from http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2012/08/14/436658_gold-coast-news.html)

It will be interesting to see whether the ‘big’ news websites start to use Google Maps.

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