Cairo blogger and friend Elijah Zarwan, aka The Skeptic, has been lamenting the demise of widespread free wifi in Cairo’s cafés, now mostly replaced by a monopolistic pay-as-you-go registration system that also happens to make it more difficult for Cairo’s burgeoning blogging classes to criticize the government anonymously.
A crowdsourcing experiment was in order, so I started a Google My Map that anyone can edit to add the locations of those cafés and locations that are bucking the trend and deserving of everyone’s business. The map’s home page is here, but you can of course embed it like so:
It’s early days yet, but anyone can make it better: You just need a Google account, but that account can of course be anonymous.
One concern: Malicious users could erase the data, and this is one area where Google Maps could be improved: Allow only non-destructive edits by collaborators, and add admin privileges for map owners, so that they can review all edits and destructive edit requests. In the meantime, I’m backing up the map regularly by copying the data to a private My Map. (That leads to another feature request: versioning)