MAPMagazine + PlanetEye

November 2009

Dear MAPistas,

I’m Phillip Stark the founder of localhost:8888/mapmagazine. Today, I’m very pleased to announce the launch of localhost:8888/mapmagazine in partnership with PlanetEye.

Originally a Microsoft Research project, PlanetEye was started in 2006 by a group of Toronto entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to use what was then the Worldwide Media eXchange project to create advanced interactive visualizations of large volumes of digital media using map interfaces.

Throughout the years their technology has continued to evolve to support all kinds of media, and their focus on the travel space has led to one of the most complete databases of points of interest in the tourism industry.

With the broad scope of travel information available on the web, PlanetEye’s ability to organize snippets of information found on different sources using geolocation information provides a new way to browse and explore destinations. One particularly important aspect of their operation is their extensive network of bloggers, both on staff and independents that continuously create editorial content to go side by side with their database or points of interest.

Over the past couple of years their focus has been on bringing the content from blogs into their database but now, through partners like Map Magazine there is a great opportunity to display relevant snippets of information alongside blog content, creating actionable links that give the reader the ability to book, reserve, and explore anything mentioned in the article.

I want to thank Jonah, Juan, and PlanetEye who helped put this all together. They evaluated the high value of our content– and recognized our problem as being the technology supporting it. But as the saying goes, times are a’changin.’ From this day forward, localhost:8888/mapmagazine will be hosted and technically supported by Planet Eye – which is a quick thing to say but has massive implications. The localhost:8888/mapmagazine – Planet Eye partnership will result in cutting-edge tools, exponential traffic growth, and much more. However, as we are upgrading old technologies to the new system, there will probably be bugs so please bear with us while we navigate through this new transition.

localhost:8888/mapmagazine began in 2005 with the intention to fill a gap in the market, as there was not (and still is not) any other quality online resource for Madrid events attractions in English. While the idea was solid, I learned the hard way that execution is everything; at the time, I barely knew how to write a link in html! Being a newbie to online business and technology, the project suffered many setbacks and overhauls. The journey has been tough – and there is still a long road ahead of us (though hopefully it will be a much smoother ride from now on).

I want to thank the following people for bringing MAP to where it is today: Mary Cuddehe- the first MAP editor; Elizabeth Gorman who flew here from New York on a heartbeat after reading my craigslist ad; and Andrew Poole who stuck with me until his last nickel. All of these people, like me, worked for free. Speaking of unpaid labor, I want to thank all of the writers and interns who donated their time; however, I’m afraid I might leave a person out if I try to list everyone who has supported the project since 2005, so let me just say THANK YOU –you know who you are. If you catch me at a bar, be sure to remind me and you’ll get a caña out of it.

Our current editor Cynthia Blair Kane will be adding new articles, events, and turning MAP Magazine into an even higher quality online resource for Madrid events and attractions. She received her BA from Bard College and MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She worked with Michael Gross, New York Times best-selling author, on 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building and Rogues Gallery. She is the former Senior Editor of two literary magazines, A Gathering of the Tribes and Lumina, and the former Marketing Director for Barbara Probst Solomon’s literary magazine, The Reading Room. She is a regular blogger for the Jerusalem Post, and a Savvy Auntie Expert on www.savvyauntie.com.

Her writing has appeared in: Recessionwire (www.recessionwire.com), VegNews magazine, Pregnancy magazine, Yoga Journal, Bridal Guide Magazine, The Independent, InMadrid, and more. Her short story “Curly” appeared in the anthology Submerged: Tales from the Basin (2008). She has also written two novels, and is currently writing a hiking guide about the Community of Madrid.

Finally, there is one last bit of information we want to throw out there – we don’t like our logo!!! If you have a good idea, let us know. We can’t offer cash at the moment, but for a young designer still in school – it would probably make a good portfolio sample. Also, we’re always looking for writers, photographers, video bloggers, and interns. Feel free to contact us.
Well, I guess that’s it. Welcome to the new localhost:8888/mapmagazine.

Phillip Stark
Director
localhost:8888/mapmagazine
business (at) mapmagazine (dot) com

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