The Power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Curation Economy


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 02, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Curation Economy

In today's digital age, the amount of information available at our fingertips is overwhelming. With the rise of social media and content sharing platforms, it has become increasingly important to not only consume content but also curate and organize it. This is where Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the curation economy intersect, creating a powerful tool for discovering, organizing, and sharing relevant information.

GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is a computer system that allows users to capture, store, check, and display data related to positions on Earth's surface. It enables people to visualize and analyze patterns and relationships by overlaying different types of data on a single map. Whether it's streets, buildings, vegetation, or even elevation and satellite imagery, GIS can handle it all.

But how does GIS relate to the curation economy? Well, think of curators as the middlemen between creators and consumers of content. They play a crucial role in discovering, organizing, and sharing relevant information from around the web. Platforms such as Storify,,, Pearltrees, and have emerged as leaders in this space, providing tools and services that enable curators to package and disseminate information in captivating and engaging formats.

What sets curators apart from traditional content creators is their ability to weave interest graphs rather than social graphs. Interest graphs are based on the topics and themes that resonate with individuals, creating a more personalized and targeted approach to content curation. By curating content that aligns with their niche networks, curators invest in the integrity and vibrancy of their communities and the relationships that define them.

Curated content serves as social objects that spark conversations and reactions. It not only extends the reach of the original content but also breathes new life into it. Whether it's a thought-provoking article, a stunning photograph, or a captivating video, curated content acts as a catalyst for engagement and interaction.

The power of GIS in the curation economy lies in its ability to enhance the value and context of curated content. By overlaying GIS data layers onto curated maps, curators can provide additional insights and perspectives. For example, a curator could overlay school district boundaries onto a map showcasing educational resources in a specific area. This not only helps users discover relevant content but also understand how it relates to their immediate surroundings.

Incorporating GIS into the curation process also allows curators to leverage different types of data, regardless of their source or original format. Whether it's raster data (grids of cells or pixels) or vector data (polygons using points and lines), GIS can handle it all. This flexibility enables curators to create comprehensive and visually appealing maps that capture the complexity and diversity of their curated content.

So, how can individuals and organizations leverage the power of GIS in the curation economy? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace GIS technology: Whether you're an individual curator or part of an organization, investing in GIS technology can significantly enhance your curation efforts. By incorporating GIS tools and platforms into your workflow, you can create more engaging and interactive maps that add value and context to your curated content.
  • 2. Collaborate with GIS professionals: If you're new to GIS or lack the technical expertise, consider collaborating with GIS professionals. They can help you navigate the complexities of GIS technology and provide guidance on how to best integrate it into your curation process. This collaboration can lead to more robust and impactful curated content.
  • 3. Explore new data sources: GIS opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to data sources. Don't limit yourself to traditional sources; instead, explore new avenues for data acquisition. Whether it's satellite imagery, real-time sensor data, or crowd-sourced information, incorporating diverse data sets can enrich your curated maps and provide valuable insights to your audience.

In conclusion, GIS and the curation economy are two powerful forces shaping the way we discover, organize, and share information. By leveraging GIS technology, curators can enhance the value and context of their curated content, providing unique insights and perspectives. As the curation economy continues to evolve, embracing GIS and exploring new data sources will be key to staying ahead of the curve. So, harness the power of GIS and become a curator that not only consumes but also shapes the digital landscape.

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