Your2pence: Firstly who are you and what do you do?
Ben Marsh: I’m a freelance web developer who creates ‘mashups’ – which means extracting information from various (potentially unrelated) resources and putting them together in a meaningful way.
Y2P: Why did Channel 4 come to you to create the cuts map?
BM: Channel 4 approached me after seeing my #uksnow Map over the winter. With all the spending cuts that are currently taking place they wanted to show this in an alternative visual.
Y2P:What’s the point of this map though? Why don’t we just keep it nice and old fashioned?
BM: Visuals and graphics are usually a better way of getting complex information across. Being able to see how spending cuts are taking place geographically and also on a month-to-month basis gives a different angle to what is happening.
Having the ability for a consumer to discover and understand content their own way can only be a good thing.
Y2P: How has the internet helped to shape your ideas and projects?
BM: There is a huge resource of open information on the internet, and it is getting easier and easier to pull these sources together and make something more meaningful. I’ve been creating apps and sites for quite some time, but the first one that caught the public imagination was the #uksnow map, which took locatable snow reports from Twitter and plotted them on a map.
You might like to check out Ben’s latest project http://ilooklikearoyal.com which has just been launched for easyjet and the Royal Wedding. They are looking for…you guessed it Europe’s best Will and Kate look-a-likes…
Follow Ben and what he’s up to on @benmarsh.