ChicagoAncestors.org allows users to "discover the past by address." Historical records culled from several organizations - including the Newberry Library, Chicago Historical Society, as well as hundreds of churches and schools - are viewed using an interactive mashup-style Google Map. Information about people, places, and events through Chicago, including user-submitted locations and photographs, can be viewed in their proper historical and geographical contexts. The user-submitted stories and photographs are some of the most compelling features of the site: some of the pictures and accounts submitted by everyday users are shining examples of digital storytelling. The site is managed and sponsored by the Newberry Library.
The Youth Media Reporter wrote a pretty good article and embedded some maps made by community group in Chicago. Check it out: one is environmental justice in Little Village, and another of Chicago Youth Voices Against Violence.
Sometimes you get tired of "armchair mapping" -- working exclusively with digital tools from the comfort of your home or office. Sometimes you want to go ride bikes through the Yosemite Valley, marveling at the waterfalls and cliff faces and rushing rivers. Sometimes your friend Alan gets a new Garmin Oregon 400t handheld GPS unit and you want to go play with it. Sometimes all three of these things happen on the same day PLUS it's your birthday so you can totally feel justified to take the day off to go do it as long as you blog about it later!