Public Earth – LIVE!

Author
Melinda
Post
11.18.2009
 
Image courtesy of Public Earth

Image courtesy of Public Earth

Imagine being able to find all the great public art in the world, and then finding out all about it! After more than a year of development, The PublicEarth Project is proud to announce the launch of a new website – www.publicearth.com. PublicEarth is “the Wiki for Places,” and is dedicated to delivering interesting, unique and up-to-date place information in a personalized way. PublicEarth offers an ever-expanding database of nearly 5 million places, across 400 categories — including public art.

Global explorer Duncan McCall created PublicEarth after years of traveling the world, sharing information with fellow travelers on paper maps, while trying to avoid difficult border crossings and, occasionally, landmine fields. Popular information was always easy to come by, but the really valuable information was not. The problem extended to the urban landscape: “Web search results are dominated with businesses and restaurants,” says McCall. “I want to be able to find interesting things about where I’m going—where can I go for a walk and see something unique, something I wouldn’t even know to search for? We created PublicEarth to be the one source for everything that is interesting about where you are right now, or where you’re going.”

David Hose, the Chairman and CEO of PublicEarth and a long-time veteran of both geographic information systems and the mobile industry, saw a need for a comprehensive database of detailed long-tail information, and wanted to connect it systematically with more popular searches. Ultimately that data should flow to all of the worlds’ GPS devices, mobile phones and mapping applications.

“We knew that we had to launch with a sizable database. But we also knew that the millions of places we have right now make up less than 1% of the mapable places in the world. So we are providing easy to use tools that allow anyone to add places that they find interesting or important,” says Hose, “It will take time to be anywhere close to complete, but we have a remarkable start.”

PublicEarth has spent the last year working with numerous ‘special interest’ communities, providing features they requested, and helping them incorporate their specific information needs into the database. Their goals were to expose their unique content to a broader audience, and make it more accessible. For instance, PublicEarth offers simple widgets that allow communities to bring their content back to their own websites, but also add value by connecting it to complimentary and relevant nearby places.

Public art is a growing community of individuals and organizations who are utilizing the new service. Jack Becker, Executive Director, Forecast Public Art and publisher of Public Art Review comments, “PublicEarth has unlimited potential for deepening the experience of appreciating and interpreting public art worldwide. It will revolutionize the way future generations learn who artists are, what they do, and how they contribute their creativity to the public realm.”

A broad variety of communities have been working with PublicEarth, including: Trailer Life Directory, the most complete listing of RV parks in North America, and sister organization of the GoodSam Club; Ghosthound.com, a listing of haunted places throughout New England; and Forecast Public Art, publisher of Public Art Review, the respected source of information on public art worldwide.

Text courtesy of Public Earth