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New experiments in 2010 media landscape

Will the 2010 Games mark a “turning point” for crowd-sourced event coverage? Two new websites are aiming high with less than five days until the opening ceremonies.

The first, Vancouver [de]Tour Guide 2010, is an interactive city map created by local artists, cartographers and geographers.

Coloured markers indicate areas of interest that might not make it onto Tourism Vancouver pamphlets. Click on Ballantyne Pier, for instance, to read about a bloody 1935 confrontation between longshoremen and police.

Other markers advertise protest events, arts exhibitions and independent bookstores.

“It’s an attempt to represent the city in a more kaleidoscopic and nuanced way than how it’s being currently promoted,” said Althea Thauberger, a local artist who helped the create the site.

She hopes the map becomes a must-stop destination for tourists and media looking for alternative Vancouver perspectives. It’s built on a Wikipedia-type model where a constantly growing team of editors invite regular people to join and post content.

“As this collective expands we don’t really know what will happen with the project,” Thauberger said.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Media Cooperative (VMC) officially launched a new media platform today, fuelled largely by Olympics dissent. The site aggregates crowd-sourced content from Youtube, Twitter and Flickr with the hashtags #no2010 and #report2010.

“Our mandate is news from the grass roots,” the VMC’s Dawn Paley said. She envisions a vibrant hub for critical voices, with Olympics news breaking virtually the second it happens.

Expect videos of Games protests, photos of activist press conferences and a chorus of Tweets should any confrontation with police occur. During the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh last fall, a similar website got one million hits, Paley said.

“It’ll become a spot where activists or curious Vancouverites or people from all around the world can get an overview of what’s happening on streets of Vancouver,” she said.

Geoff Dembicki reports for the Tyee.

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