TinyMap vs. Platial

I should not complain too much about Platial, as it is still in beta-testing, and the various bugs no doubt will be ironed out. I look forward to the map-from-rss feature – even rss feeds that are not geocoded can be imported (although you have to point-and-click to get the information where you want it). This will be an enormous boon when you’re dealing for instance with something like the Pleiades project. Their database has an enormous amount of information spatial information concerning ancient places. A person can subscribe to their Archaic places feed, for instance, and get the whole list. They do provide KML files for each individual point, but nothing (as far as I can tell) in the aggregate (and you have to dig down the document tree to fin ’em). So I tried to get Platial to import the whole list from the feed, and then I was prepared to spend the time properly dragging things into place.

Platial burped, and that was that.

If I was going to have to drag-and-drop each individual record, I thought there might perhaps be an easier interface to use. Platial after all fancies itself something of a social-networking site (you can mash up your information with information from some one else’s map)… but as Gabby mentioned in an earlier comment, what if you’re out in the field, and you want someone back at the office to have a quick map of something you’ve found, without having to register, create a profile, etc etc? Tinymap is your answer. You go to http://www.tinymap.net, zoom in on the region your working on (or punch in the decimal coordinates), drag and drop some Points-of-Interest, annotate appropriate, hit save and your done. The site gives you a unique URL for your map, and you email that back to the office. So here is a sample, with some information from Pleiades: http://www.tinymap.net/CNztQCq7hlQ/

For quick and easy maps, TinyMap wins hands-down over Platial. Platial is better for more complicated maps with greater functionality – eventually.

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One thought on “TinyMap vs. Platial

  1. Hi Shawn. This is Tracy from Platial. Very cool map project you have going here. Thank you for complaining about Platial. There’s nothing more helpful to us than the gripes of the people who care!

    We just did a big upgrade of our add places interface, but without launching any new features yet. We are working on real rss into maps (will have to be georss) and also kml in. Send me an email to tracy [AT] platial [dot com] and I’ll make sure to notify you when that feature comes out. Generally, I would love to hear more about how you use maps and what features you need most. Please do email me!

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