I noticed a very interesting initiative recently Project Geograph: Photograph Every Grid Square.
This project is working towards collecting and making available images depicting the geography of every square kilometre of the British Isles. This ambitious project seems to be progressing very well, with many good quality images loaded to the website.
Already over 8,900 contributors have submitted nearly 1,500,000 images, with an average of 5 images associated to each geographic square across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. This is a great resource, preserving in amazing detail what the British Isles looked like at the start of the 21st Century. This is also a wonderful way to learn about the geography of these amazing islands and to dig deeply into their hills, valleys, towns and villages. This is also a superb source for genealogists looking at how a particular part of the British Isles looks today.
Back in 2007 I attended the Blogs and Social Media Conference 2.0 in London. One presentation which has stayed in my mind since then, was Lee Bryant's, "Engaging with Passionates". In his exceptional presentation Lee described a ground-breaking social networking case study and talked about the energy that can be released when organisations successfully tap into a group of people who are truly passionate about a given topic.
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better example of the power of passionates than the Geograph Project. Looking at the number of contributors, the amount of the British Isles covered, and the quality of the photography and metadata created, makes a clear point - find people who are passionate about a topic, people who are committed to a hobby or interest, engage them in the right way and they will deliver time and again.
I wish everyone associated with the Geograph Project all the luck in the world, may they stay passionate and committed to what they do, and may their project benefit from their commitment.
Oh, and if you like what you see, submit a photograph, or start a similar initiative.