Here’s something new – in the UK is introducing their new service called Mapumental. It’s a dumb name, but at least they didn’t call it Mapology… In any case, the video that explains is it well worth watching:

I always talk about how innovation is often simply the act of making new connections. Mapumental illustrates this perfectly. It starts with information about public transportation routes, which is freely available. Then it adds on data about median house prices (at what appears to be a pretty fine level of granularity). The final piece of the puzzle (at least for now) is that they added in crowdsourced data evaluating the scenicness of all of the locations on the map. So you can find neighborhoods based on average travel time to any point on the map via public transport, filtered by affordability and scenicness!

While the idea of combining these things is fairly simple, it sounds like the technical challenge of putting it all together was substantial. I’m looking forward to learning more about that as they release further information. It should a good demonstration of the gap between having a great idea and turning it into something that is usable (the difference between invention and innovation). I’m also looking forward to seeing what other information filters they will add to the service. Overall, it’s a really nice illustration an innovation that is primarily a new combination of things that already exist.

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

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2 thoughts on “mapumental

  1. Tim,

    Another (local this time) effort is
    which, while nowhere as sophisticated as mapumental, is the same idea of using mash-ups to add value to property hunting.

    One thing that occurred to me while watching the video is that it is now a mere descriptive tool of how the real estate landscape is. But with time, when more people start using it (to, say, decide where to live or where to target advertising campaigns) it can actually lead to a change of the landscape.

    The emergence and disappearance of affluent suburbs will not be simply due to the movement of rich tenants but also due to what mapumental tells there where the rich suburbs are. This is a lot like how google has evolved from a descriptive search engine to a genuine internet terraforming machine.

    And… yes. Stupid name.

  2. I hadn’t seen the local example – thanks for that Marco.

    I think you’re right about how it might influence things over time. Even now, that scenicness feature is the part that really grabs me about it, since they sourced that themselves. I’ll be really curious to see what other content like that gets added. And as you say, it may then end up changing the environment, not just reflecting it…

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