*Post updated at 2:00 PM, September 9, 2008 to reflect blogs we missed. Our next edition will include ONLY the top 25 blogs, but we wanted to keep all on the original list from this week.*

Here at Off the Map we’re always interested in what bloggers have to say about new technologies and services in GIS and on the GeoWeb. With our interest in cartography through the development of Maker!, we’ve broadened the categories beyond just GIS and GeoWeb blogs.

We decided to have a little fun and do a friendly ranking of some relevant blogs. The Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography will be ranked according to the number of sites/blogs linking to each, as reported by Technorati. If a blog does NOT have Technorati Authority (if they have not registered for example), then we’ll take the number of blog reactions listed and divide by 3 for an estimate.

We realize Technorati is not a perfect barometer, but it is open, and this is not a FortiusOne subjective ranking. We think this will be a great way to share blogs and get feedback from others regarding their top GIS, GeoWeb and cartography blog picks. We’ll note changes in rankings, new blogs and up and coming blogs.

If you’re on the list and feel so inclined, you’re welcome to place the following badge on your blog to share your ranking.

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Our first ranking follows. We’ll be updating the list bi-weekly and note changes in ranking and inbound links. Since we’re only doing a Top 25 list, we’d like to give a shout out to some other great blogs out there such as Indiemaps and Cartogrammer. If there is another blog you feel should be included, please let us know!

  1. O’Reilly Radar Geo Blog 2,733 – overall O’Reilly (5 Blog reactions for Geo Blog)
  2. Strange Maps 1,895
  3. Google Earth Blog 950
  4. Google Maps Mania 553
  5.  Ogle Earth 186
  6. All Points Blog (Directions Magazine) 176
  7. James Fee GIS Blog — Blogging GIS, Google Earth, Virtual Earth and Programming 156
  8. The Map Room: A weblog about maps 139
  9. The Beer Mapping Project 91
  10. Geobloggers 73
  11. Mapperz 72
  12. Very Spatial (Blog and Podcast) 66
  13. Bret Taylor’s Blog 64 (estimate based on 195 Blog Reactions)
  14. Mibazaar 61
  15. Dave Bouwman – GIS Blogs: Where’s the Conversation? 53
  16. Ed Parsons 52
  17. What is so special about Geospatial? 52
  18. Chris Spagnulo’s Geoscrum 51
  19. AnyGeo – Anything Geospatial 46
  20. Mandown 35
  21. The Earth Is Square 35
  22. Mapdango 34
  23. GIS Lounge 31
  24. Mapping Hacks 28
  25. Geography Matters – Est. 27 (based on 83 blog reactions)
  26. Geospatial Semantic Web 26
  27. Vector One 26
  28. Computing, GIS and Archeology in the UK 23
  29. GeoNames Blog 18
  30. GeoMusings 14
  31. Slashgeo 14
  32. Geocarta 12
  33. Webmapper 10
  34. Sean Gillies 10
  35. Indiemaps 8
  36. Cartogrammer 7
  37. Geography 2.0 2
 

52 Responses to Off the Map Presents Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography

  1. Sean Gillies says:

    Technorati authority is a joke. Look at the details and you’ll see that most authority is due to other bloggers’ sidebar aggregators. Make yourself pair of blogs, aggregate mutually and presto: instant authority. My blog is pretty well read, I get plenty of comments, but all my authority (56 total) comes from this kind of automated linking from geomaticblog, gisuser, etc.

    There’s actually very little discourse among geo-blogs.

  2. Sean Gorman says:

    Good point – we debated including traffic as an indicator as well. Any suggestions on better metrics for doing a ranking?

    Also if we missed any blogs that people believe are relevant please let us know. This was a first cut and no doubt we have missed several. We’ve also had an internally debate whether the list should only include blogs with original content or if we should also include aggregators of GeoWeb content. Any thoughts?

  3. Matt Ball says:

    I’d love to come across a reliable third-party traffic counting service for Blogs and websites. I’m amazed that site traffic is still so hard to quantify objectively. There are a few available services for website traffic (Alexa, Quantcast, Compete). All use some sort of proprietary and closed metrics as they’re out to make a buck. Is there a reliable outside third-party traffic counter out there?

    And, I don’t see my Spatial Sustain blog on the list.

  4. James Fee says:

    Is Radar a GeoWeb blog? Is blogging about Google Earth KML a GIS blog? Is blogging about Google Maps mashups Cartography blogging?

    You got me! I’ve had to deal with that question over at Planet Geospatial for the last few years. As hard as it is to figure out blog traffic, the question as to what is a GIS, GeoWeb, Cartography blog is harder.

  5. Andrés says:

    La Cartoteca (http://alpoma.net/carto/) it’s an excellent Spanish blog written by Alejandro Polanco. Has an authority of 103 (http://www.technorati.com/blogs/alpoma.net%2Fcarto), so it should be on the Top10!

    Greetings.

  6. I agree with Sean, Technorati is not a good tool to evaluate blog popularity. I also agree with James. Slashgeo, like PlanetGS, has a similar “definition problem”. We offer original content, but we’re (mainly? and) also (the only?) geoblogs aggregator.

    With Slashgeo’s 1,700+ registered members and thousands of unique IP addresses reached daily, I don’t feel too much useless, but these stats don’t matter anymore, over a year ago when I temporarily closed Slashgeo, Jeff of Vector One was the one who made me understand that I must contribute to the geospatial community for the fun and pleasure of it. I found out it can be fun :-)

  7. [...] The Map must have been bored .. but not complaining since they ranked Earth Is Square at number 21. This entry is filed under [...]

  8. Mr Minton says:

    How about EVS Islands? A typical post consists of a Landsat image of a project island and a high quality map of that same island. Each map consists of at least three to four layers of information. My blog has been active since April 2005. To date, EVS Islands has had in excess of 80,000 page views from island-o-holics throughout the world. My site consists of 485 posts, most of them containing a unique island map or pointers on how to make island maps. Not sure my site deserves to be in the top 25, but it is a site of applied GIS note. Thanks for calling attention to the GIS community.

  9. Vector One says:

    Actually, my blog works like a car odometer. It reached 10,000,000 and rolled over – so I should be at the top.

  10. [...] Off the Map Presents Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography [...]

  11. Mapperz says:

    Mapperz just blogs for fun.
    Hopefully others find it interesting and useful.

    Mapperz
    http://mapperz.blogspot.com/

  12. Khanh Le says:

    Wonderful list! Thanks Off the Map.

  13. andrea says:

    Hi all,
    this list is only for geoblog in English?

    Regards,

    a

  14. Bill Dollins says:

    Your update implies this will be an ongoing thing.

    I think James’ experience in culling down Planet GS perfectly illustrates the difficulty of even classifying what blogs should be listed.

    As much as I actually appreciate even making it onto this list, I am somewhat skeptical of the value that ranking blogs in such a manner will bring to the overall quality of the discussion in the “geo” community.

    As more people enter this technology area for the first time and begin looking for resources, they may be drawn to such a “top 25″ and inadvertently miss out on excellent blogs such as Fantom Planet, “GIS and .NET Development” by Brian Noyle, “Thinking in GIS” by Paolo Corti, “GeoThought” by Peter Batty, “The Memory Leak” by Kirk Kuykendall and many others.

  15. [...] Read more: Off the Map Presents Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography [...]

  16. Kristina says:

    How come Off the Map didn’t make this list? Also, dividing by three blog reactions is too generous for Technorati authority. Most of the blogs list with actual authority have a much higher ratio of authority to blog reactions than that.

  17. Kevin Liske says:

    Hmmm…folks are right about the value of the metrics.
    For instance, the last blog, Geography 2.0, has not been updated since April 2007. In my book, that’s a dead blog.

  18. Sean Gorman says:

    Thanks for all the feedback. Got stuck in meetings and missed most of the conversation. Anytime you make a list and rank stuff I figure it is bound to create a bit of controversy. Which can be good or potentially bad.

    The question in my mind is if there is value in doing rankings. We’ll miss blogs in the first go of it and the ranking criteria is always open to debate, but is there value if you get those two things close to right?

    The idea we had was to do the ranking once a month and chart if blogs were moving up or down. There are categorization issues but I think those can be overcome. Technorati has its issues and is constantly changing their algorithm to keep people from gaming the system (as Sean pointed out), so that is another big issue.

    On the upside just going through this process I’ve learned about several blogs I did not know about or follow before. So from that perspective I think there is value, but is that a recurring value that makes it worth doing once a month?

    It is all meant as a bit of fun and a chance to stir the pot. To answer Kristina’s question we did not include “Off the Map”, “High Earth Orbit” or “BrainOff” since the bloggers all have affiliation with FortiusOne and we thought it important to keep it clean and avoid any taint of self promotion.

    Apologies to everyone and anyone we over looked. If we do additional installments we’ll definitely add them in

    best,
    sean

  19. Mickey says:

    Great list. One few of mine could slide in there.

    Authority: 48
    http://www.digitalearthblog.com

    Thanks.

  20. The barometer is raised again for the rest of us, excellent post. Couldn’t agree more re sites like Alexa etc, I guess all this further emphasizes that blogging in this space is about quality, not quantity.

  21. Anthony says:

    Excellent topic – it’s nice to see the start of a consolidated list of blogs for our field.

    My question is, now that the sites above have been listed and are being replicated across the Internet, won’t that throw off future results? Technorati is going to pick up all of these links and give them authority.

  22. Tom Weir says:

    Have you considered creating an OPML file of the blog feeds? That would make it much easier to import into feed readers…

  23. Bill Dollins says:

    @Tom Weir

    Wouldn’t that be the same thing as Planet Geospatial?

  24. Wilson says:

    My favorite geoblog is Nikolas Schiller’s Daily Render. What makes his blog unique is that it covers a wide variety of topics and his kaleidoscopic maps are some of coolest cartographics I’ve ever seen.

  25. Ron Exler says:

    Hi Sean,

    My blog ranks higher in Technorati than some of the others on your list, and has a different slant, yet I agree with many of the comments.

    This ranking thing is problematic. Technobabble 2.0 has been ranking industry analyst blogs for a year or so and keeps switching criteria.

    http://technobabble2dot0.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/top-100-analyst-blogs-2/

    It uses 4 criteria now – Google PageRank, Google Reader Subscribers, Technorati, and Technobabble’s subjective measure. There are still inherent problems in this method, which are spelled out in my comments there. For example, the top ranked blogger on that list writes about social media yet gets lots of blog hits (more than half, he admits) from his Twitter feed about traffic in the bay area. So while his blog is interesting and lots of people read it, the #1 rank is probably not deserved.

    There is value in such a ranking for geo blogs as long as people don’t take it too seriously and realize the limitations. The fact that there are so many blogs around geographic information would surprise people. And in the end, I hope we are not just talking to each other but reaching out to a wider audience so they can better appreciate the value of geographic information. If such a ranking helps reach that goal, there is great value.

  26. Otto says:

    There does seem to a lot of GIS, cartography, and mapping blogs. But what about blogs that just focus on spatial thinking and geography? Most of the blogs in this list are mainly concerned with making maps. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’d like to see some blogs that feature conversations and ideas that will make us better spatial thinkers. Does anyone know where we can find this kind of discussion?

    • Geocrusader80 says:

      Otto, I noticed your same comments about a lack of spatial thinking in most blogs. I am attempting to generate just that in my blog: http://geocrusader80.blogspot.com/ – Basically, in my blog postings I am attempting to deliver spatial thinking as it applies to things we all might take for granted in the geography world and how helpful spatial thought is in identifying the true value of a situation.

  27. Glenn says:

    the real question is what makes a geo-blog? Heck, you could cover off mobile social media, gaming, social networking, etc… all could easily be incorporated under this category. Purely subjective. Indeed a good start but its definitely a first jab looking at traditonal geo-blogs rather than examining the future of the geo web and the mobile geo web, both totally influenced by geo technologies. Simply ranking based on the numbers that technorati spits out every week is hardly the way to quantify these in my mind – also, what defines or makes it a blog? I’ve never viewed GIS lounge as a blog, for example, but I guess to some it is. The real value in the blog is not how many but rather, WHO is listening. Look at number #1 Strange Maps – sorry but never been there, never heard of it and I’ve been around the block a couple of times… the most recent post, from August touches on a topic that others (including myself) were interested in and blogging about some 3 years ago.

    I am enjoying this discussion and watching it unfold… keep it up!

  28. Timothy says:

    These are some really great blogs. I have create my own as well. I know I do not have the authority that all of the ones above have. I am working to build my blog up the list. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    http://gispathway.wordpress.com

    Thanks.

  29. [...] guessed that the blog post that with the most comments for “Off the Map” would be the recent blog ranking post. In hindsight it makes sense but I’m still a bit surprised at the can of worms it has opened. [...]

  30. my site
    googleearthdesign.blogspot.com

    is about cartographic design in google earth and has a technorati rating of 67 so probably should be in your list but a] I’m not really aiming to be a popular blog b] I share other’s views of the flaws in technorati so thanks, but no thanks for the badge just yet :)

    Rich

  31. HappyGeo? ??…

    Off the Map Presents Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography…

  32. Hey, kind of new to this blogging thing what is it exactly when you talk about “authority”?

  33. Jesus says:

    My geomarketing blog, Gis and Marketing suite.

    Http:\\geomarketingspain.blogspot.com

    It’s in Spanish!

  34. rayforum says:

    Hai this is sri

  35. [...] applications, the “geoweb”, etc. posted an article, about a year ago listing the Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb, and Cartography.  I must say that I could not have made a better list.  The list comprises other blogs that [...]

  36. John says:

    Hi.. Please check this also, http://equatorgis.com/blog/
    Very interesting GIS Blog.

  37. [...] Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and CartographyA fun but interesting round-up of some of the top ranking (according to technorati) Geoweb blogs, with a good response from The Map Room. [...]

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  40. [...] Off the Map Presents Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography | Off the Map – Official Blog…. [...]

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  44. [...] ranking system, what makes a blog a GIS blog, and which blogs should be on the list.  Read more: Off the Map Presents Top 25 Blogs in GIS, GeoWeb and Cartography. Update (September 17): GeoWeb Blog Ranking Post MortemAdena Schutzberg from Directions Magazine [...]

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