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Harvard provides web platform for data sharing

US: Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis developed and released WorldMap, a cloud-based open source software platform. It aims to make easier publishing and sharing maps, and other geospatial data. In addition, it aims to fill the growing niche between desktop mapping applications and more lightweight, nimble Web solutions.
According to the Harvard’s press statement, beta release of WorldMap in July 2011 has already boasted 1,250 users from more than 100 countries. Users have contributed more than 1,700 mapping layers and created more than 500 map collections to support their research.
The bulk of the best geographic data resides outside any single institution. WorldMap takes a unique approach to this challenge by providing the global community with a platform to meet its needs. By so doing, the system increases the amount of high-quality spatial data in the public sphere. It allows scholars to integrate information from diverse sources by making it possible to overlay data in users’ own computers with materials on the web. The system also lets users incorporate paper maps, perform online digitising and link locations to other media.
The platform allows for collaborations that can range from small groups in which all participants have editorial rights to interactive publications for large audiences. The system is also designed to support the research process, by allowing information to initially be made private, before being opened to larger groups for refinement and finally to be published or released to the public.
Source: Harvard