Bloggage update: More and more free data are available that are quality-controlled and verifiable. Guardian Data Blog's @smfrogers (now at Twitter) was quite sanguine about this: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred". This reflects the geo-industry's credo is "say what you want, but ensure your data's Triple-A rating: available, accurate and auditable."
Guardian Data posted Great Britain's train station data, and they used Google Fusion Tables to post some of the data. I downloaded the data set, mapped it against UK post code data from Doogal UK to place stations at post code centerpoints, and classified it by year and frequency. UK Ordnance Survey County and District data, and NOAA GSHHS coastal outline subset completed the picture. The maps were created on ArcMap for Home Use. then posted on loader for ArcMap data was then used to post it online here and below, together with USGS SRTM web map service for background.
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This is yet another example where posting data and making it publicly available can move forward map making through mashups of various data sources. The key proviso, however, is that data sources are acknowledged all the way. Not only will it allow auditing and referral, but it also allows others to create more of the same according to their particular expertise. Isn't that, after all, what crowdsourcing is all about?