When was the last time you actually unfolded a map? Odds are you just pull up Google Maps/Mapquest/Hopstop or check your GPS-enabled phone/car for the right path. These new technologies and tools are changing our relationship with the world around us, putting us at the center.

“We no longer go to maps to find out where we are. Instead, we tell maps where we are and they form around us on the fly,” says Jessica Clark in an In These Times article. The ubiquity of technologies such as GPS, mobile directional devices, interactive mapping tools and social networks is feeding a mapping boom, she says. Thanks mostly to Google Earth mashups, maps are being democratized, generating possibilities for self-expression and social action. Some examples:

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