Tech finds of the week: Tools for maps, timelines, curation

Maps and mapping


TileMill is an open source platform for creating maps using a CSS-like coding system. The site includes a support area for learning how to use the software and how to export maps. The TileMill suite of tools is distributed by MapBox, which sells hosting and analytics for maps. Via PBS IdeaLab.




An online tool for creating interactive timelines with text, image and video components. An account is free, but that free account allows you to create only a single timeline with basic functionality. To create more timelines and to unlock functions like embeddable timelines, you’ll have to pay $5 to $20 a month. There’s also an educational account for $100 a year.




A web-based system that allows users to create electronic pages for displaying messages on screens via text, Twitter or web. The service was created to allow interaction at bars, restaurants and other public locations. Teachers have also used it in the classroom. Via @shellterrell.


I’ve seen others use this tool but hadn’t looked into until this week. It’s a curation system that allows you to aggregate content in moveable boxes. Scoop.It calls itself a magazine, though I’d describe it as more of a bulletin board look, much like Pinterest. Even so, a free account allows you to curate five topics and share information on various forms of social media. Paid accounts have additional features, including analytics.

Update: I recently found this guide to using Scoop.It for curation. It not only has good information about using Scoop.It, but provides good tips on curation and web development.


About dbward

Doug Ward is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas.
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