L. Zentai

Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary


The term web 2.0 was first used in 2004 at a conference where the organizers focused on the new generation web services. Although web is not software and it has not had versions, everybody understood this term and also understood the real meaning behind it.

In the last 30 years cartography has considerably changed and we may think to use the similar term for our science too: cartography 2.0.

Although web 2.0 is not a clearly and easily definable term, we can list some new features of the web which has formed this new term. Wiki, blog, RSS, mashup applications, social networking are the key features (and other less known are still under development) which are not concrete applications, but rather philosophies.

Wiki is a type of website that allows the users to easily edit/change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring. Can we effectively use this new technique in cartography?

Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, as personal online diaries; they can be part of a wider network of social media. They are some cartographic blogs available (operated mostly by younger cartographers) which can give new chances for collaborative work, so they may help the cartographic education.

The most prominent mashup applications are the websites which are connected to GoogleEarth to use their basemaps/satellite images to add their own geographically located contents. These applications are also used by non-cartographers to help them to “make maps”.

Are these new features enough to introduce the new term: cartography 2.0?