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Collaborative mapping of the Birmingham music scene


DuringĀ  Birmingham Music Month, Jon Bounds and Jez Collins from the Birmingham Music Archive. Set out to build a map of every Brum-band, musician, venue, record shop, hangout etc. The idea was, to get people to contribute their own content and memories by opening the map for everyone to edit.

View Birmingham Music Map in a larger map

The map came about because Jez wanted a way to visualise what he was trying to achieve with the Birmingham Music Archive. It’s been up and running for a couple of weeks and a good chunk of content has already been added. Most of it by the authors Jon and Jez , but a few other people have chipped in to help build the map as well. According to Jon the uptake could have been better, but some of that relates to how awkward it can be to use Google Maps:

“People find Google Maps a bit difficult to grasp. It was 85% me and Jez Collins, plus 4-5 other contributors.”

How was social media used?

The reactions on the original blog post show that people have been spreading the word to their friends on twitter. The reactions show retweets, which can be compared to forwarding emails to your contacts. You can also see that a few people have sent trackbacks (like this article from Digbeth is Good), these show people who have linked to the map from their own blog.

Although the authors are a little disappointed with the uptake, it is easy to see how they successfully applied social media to spread the word. Without the mentions on other blogs and retweets on twitter, you can safely assume that the contributions would have been far less.

If you fancy a go at putting together your own Google Map, or for that matter add to the Brum Music Map, have a look at this great tutorial.

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