Cloud-based mapping service CartoDB has released a new beta version of their open-source tool Odyssey.js. With a grant $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, the company wants to continue to enrich the experience of telling stories with maps and making this process easy for programmers and non-programmers alike.

In an interview we conducted earlier this year, Miguel Arias the COO of Vizzuality (the company that developed CartoDB) explained:

“Our idea is that if you can use an Excel sheet, you should be able to draw your own maps. Our product is really easy to use. Anybody with some geo-located data can upload the data to our platform. From there they can see a nice map visualisation of the data. They can play with it, change it, customize it in whatever way you wish. By doing that, the customer will be able to share these with the public, with their colleagues and tell nice stories”

To see how the company uses to maps, it recently created a vizualisation of how the inaugural match at the world cup (Brazil v Croatia) played out on Twitter:

Chris Bar, Media Innovation Associate for the Knight Foundation, thinks that tools like Odyssey.js. will become increasingly more important for publishers and journalists too. “I think the public is going to want more and more of these kinds of experiences that help us make sense of the large amount of information and data that we have at our disposal,” he said.

As TechCrunch concludes, “the goal is to bring greater media innovation…by straying away from the traditional form of storytelling, perhaps CartoDB can help increase readership and capture readers’ attention with the new Odyssey.js library.”

Odyssey.js from vizzuality on Vimeo.

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(Image: Vizzuality)

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