This last fall I researched a variety of on line web based mapping sites for the Cycle Idaho dot com index of all the great places to ride in Idaho.
42 was a number that came up in my research. Wow, from the first beta of Google maps in @2001 to a range of online services such as Motion Based, Tremble Outdoors, Map my Ride and now STRAVA.
Data from Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the raw can be overwhelming and ultimately valuable if it can be compiled into Information that leads to Wise decisions.
As an example the popular SIMCITY game series is based on fictional design elements, However real city and regional planing data and demographics can be used for computer simulation to see how urban and rural life and landscapes would change over time given a change in the circumstances.
A computer can make the single elemental change and project the influential outcome over time to predict what a human might find impossible to calculate.
Change the rural agricultural zoning for 5 acres to residential housing and see how this influences the landscape, transportation, water, public services and air quality.
Much like predicting the weather, with enough data a computer can compile the data mess into information for us to make wise decisions.
But what fun is that? I want to go for a RIDE on my bike, with my girlfriend...and dog...and not spend a lot of time researching where to go in a city I am not familiar with...
Cycle Idaho - THE web based index of the great bicycling opportunities (in development)
Time to get to it!