FortiusOne, a Washington-area digital mapping company, has released something called Maker!. It’s a roll-your-own data visualization tool that allows you to mash up maps with a database and produce something that makes Google Maps look like they were produced by a computer running Windows386.
Below is a Flash-based map that takes a database of funding that’s gone to tech companies based on size and location. You can instantly see where the money is going.
The data is entirely play-friendly–zoom into geographic areas, choose big or small investments, etc.
Here I’ve zeroed in on the D.C. area, where I ply my trade. A popover shows me that one of the big recipients of capital in my home town is Clearspring, the nation’s lead widgeteer. [Huh. I wonder if they are hiring extremely good natured, value-priced, virtually hairless web consultants.] But it also reveals dozens of digital businesses I’d never heard of–GeniusRocket, Acumen, Price Comparison Guru, Brainware–within a 20-minute commute of my home.
The site is easy to build with [though beyond the skills of rank amateurs]. And it’s already got a gallery full of some fascinating stuff.
Let’s say, for instance, that you’re a political operative trying to target women aged 18 to 30 to vote in November. Bam, you’ve got a map that breaks down this population down to county and city level, all across the U.S.
Of course, such a map could have multiple uses. Let’s say you’re an unmarried man aged 18 to 30 wondering where the numbers are most likely to work in your favor, potential-mate-wise.
Gentlemen, start your engines.