"Imagine if Twitter were to digest for you the range of agreement, disagreement, and mood of your friends. By pre-digesting information -- self-synthesizing, if you will -- modern maps have been able to foreshadow coming revolutions in information.
Unlike the web tools of the early 2000s – chat rooms, forums, wikis, blogs, and podcasts – crowd-sourced maps actually analyze the data given to them, sorting social information into patterns of local, regional, and global patterns.
The maps do not merely collect information, as a “memory hole” like Wikileaks does; rather, the maps show the community back to itself, revealing hot-spots of local corruption and pollution, giving activists the tools to target particular places with investigation or protest."
Via Howard Rheingold