A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
How Waze’s Crowd-Sourced Data Helped FEMA Deliver Gas After Sandy (GigaOm)
With gas shortages rampant following Hurricane Sandy, FEMA and the White House turned to crowd-sourced navigation app Waze to gather data on where to send gasoline fueling trucks. The episode showed how mobile crowd-sourced data and tools like Waze can be helpful in a crisis.
Buying Another Classified Site, Springer Sees Digital Filling Print Gap (Paid Content)
German publisher Axel Springer is buying heavily in to European classified sites to court digital and international growth. Snapping up Belgian property service Immoweb, it says the move will make up for a weakening print ad sector.
Tree Maps and Dwindling Cigarettes: One Hyperlocal Site’s Approach to Sandy (The New York Observer)
In the wake of Sandy, Ditmas Park Corner ran a tree map detailing the locations of downed trees throughout the neighborhood, a map assembled not through on-the-street reporting but through an assiduously groomed network of readers and tipsters. The site, with a masthead of one full-time reporter, a managing editor, and two contributors, has a similar mission, in some senses, to Patch, the national network of local news sites that bought Publisher Liena Zagare’s original neighborhood blog and employed her for a time before she left to start the Corner News network
Trib App Puts Chicago Crime Data in Context (NetNewsCheck)
Crime in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune’s new desktop app rolled out in September, presents statistics on serious crimes in 77 different Chicago communities in easy to read map and table views that put that data in context for readers. It presents users with statistics on violent, property and quality-of-life-related crimes in table and map forms in a snapshot over the past 30 days.
Foursquare Not Competitive with Yelp in Mobile — Yet (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: It’s true that star ratings tend to average out and you get lots of businesses with 3.5 stars on Yelp, but the new Foursquare iOS app isn’t quite ready to displace Yelp. Fourquare’s app looks great and has some very nice features. It’s also more cumbersome to use than Yelp in several ways.
More Than Just a Place to Buy Things (PandoDaily)
Francisco Dao: The technology crowd loves to revel in the decline of brick-and-mortar stores, as if we were watching the fall of the Berlin wall. But the Internet provides neither local employment nor a physical presence to replace the stores that it renders unprofitable, and as such, the shift to ecommerce poses a threat to communities on a scale far greater than Walmart ever has.