Earth Knowledge takes curation to a new level. The site was conceived as a way to promote a concept called “Reliable Prosperity,” or decisions that contribute both economic and ecological value. Founders Julia and Frank D’Agnese enlisted dozens of content partners like Alternative Energy News, BBC Earth Explorers, The Christian Science Monitor, European Environment Agency, the US Forest Service and the US Geological Survey to contribute content, which is summarized on “knowledge portals” and linked back to the original source.
One of the really innovation features of Earth Knowledge is a Google Maps mashup that delivers selected content contributed by partners in a striking visual style. The view below shows the location of natural and glacial aquifers in the U.S., and that’s only one of many options for seeing where natural resources exist and how they’re changing. There is also an assortment of narrated audio and video “tours” that use Google Maps to show things like the the geography and natural attractions of the Great Lakes.
Earth Knowledge is an example of nearly pure curation. The site operators don’t create any original content. They provide value in the creative ways in which they organize and visualize content created by others.