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Jump-starting the next level of online geospatial collaboration: Lessons from AfricaMap
This article discusses an opportunity to engage in new forms of collaborative research made possible by widespread access to the web and mapping technologies. While throughout history there have been references of various types to locations on the earth, very little has been organized in a way to support even simple spatial search or visualization on maps, let alone collaboration. Factors which hinder such geospatial collaboration will be suggested along with thoughts for moving forward. AfricaMap, a public online mapping project under development at Harvard, will be explored for ideas and lessons. Finally, a series of new tools is envisioned to push online collaboration to a more productive state of practice for researchers in all disciplines.