Google Maps

What it does: 

Pinpoints locations and addresses on a map. Also provides directions for journeys.


There are many different ways you can incorporate google maps into existing websites to display information.


It will not layer different kinds of mappable information. Pretty much what you get is a pinpointed location and directions. For more sophisticated mapping try the application (non-web) version called Google Earth.

Suggested use: 

Show locations of violations and abuse, or plot out locations of demonstrations and actions for constituents.

Advocacy example: 

ALTSEAN-Burma (Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma), a network of organisations and individuals based in ASEAN member states working to support the movement for human rights and democracy in Burma, developed a map of the economic protests using google maps. The map highlighted the location of protests inside Burma, the date in which they took place, the number of demonstrators and where arrests have been made. Some of the landmarks have also links to video clips of the protests. This tool proved to be a good way to indicate 'hot areas' to activists willing to participate in the protests. http://www.altsean.org/Photogalleries/ProtestsMap.php

Owned by: 
Security concerns: 

Google is ambivalent to privacy challenges. For example, complaints to EU privacy regulators over Gmail's indexing and scanning practices were not addressed. Google got the lowest privacy rating of any internet company by Privacy International. (see http://www.privacyinternational.org/issues/internet/interimrankings.pdf )

Further notes: 

Google maps can be easily incorporated into existing websites for various uses. The MyMaps feature can be put to relatively sophisticated uses,even by non-technical folks. Maps can be shared (or not), annotated, statically linked, dynamically linked, etc..