GeoCommons launched its 2.0 version today with a long list of free, enterprise and API features that bring the service up to date on contemporary web technologies. GeoCommons is a community site run by GeoIQ, a private company that sells software and support to enterprise customers. Data and maps posted to GeoCommons are published under a Creative Commons license.Web based mapping platform
The new version of the platform includes HTML5 display, a visualization engine GeoCommons says is capable of displaying hundreds of thousands of data points, web based editing, time-release views of mapped data and many other changes outlined in the announcement blog post.
GeoCommons says it contains 50,000 open source geo data sets now. Open community platforms for geo data have come under heavy criticism by some in the geo community over the years. Mapping community thought leader James Fee called GeoCommons the geo equivalent of a spam blog in 2007 but in 2008 wrote "it really is amazing how far we've come in a year...[community mapping platforms] are really proving that if you give people a platform to collaborate and share data, they'll do really amazing things." Fee went on to quit his job and become Chief Evangelist for another of these types of services, WeoGeo.
Now in 2011, the Geo 2.0 community has begun to earn a lot more respect, probably in large part due to the proliferation of interest in consumer location data and independent geo hacking. The new version of GeoCommons continues in the tradition of attempting to bring the new and old worlds of mapping together.