MapTube is a website for sharing maps created with the GMapCreator software, released by CASA. This can be downloaded for free from the following link: http://www.maptube.org/gmc-licence.aspx

The main principle of MapTube is that shared maps can be overlayed to compare data visually. For example, to see a map of the London Underground overlayed on top of a map of population, go to the search page and enter the keywords "tube" and "population". Then click on the two relevant maps to add them. They will be displayed when you click on "View".

Maps can be viewed by everybody without logging in, but to create a map requires an account and a username. This ensures that only the owner of a map can edit its details.

The maps themselves are not stored on the server, but only a link to another site on the Internet where the map is already published. When maps are shared, information about what the map is and what it shows is entered by the owner and this is stored on the server along with the link to where the map is published. The raw data is never stored on the Internet as the maps comprise the pre-rendered tiles made by the GMapCreator, so this is a safe way of sharing a map without giving away the raw data used to create it.

MapTube is a product of the work undertaken by the Geographic Virtual Urban Environments (GeoVUE) team based at University College London's Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). GeoVUE is a research Node of the National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS). NCeSS (http://www.ncess.ac.uk/) is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to investigate how innovative and powerful computer-based infrastructure and tools developed over the past five years under the UK e-Science programme can benefit the social science research community. MapTube was developed as part of GeoVUE's contribution to the NCeSS e-Infrastructure for social sciences project.

OpenLayers is used along with OpenStreetMap to provide an open source alternative to the Google map.

The addition of the 2001 Census data is part of the 'National e-Infrastructure for Social Simulation' project (NeISS) which is funded by JISC as part of its Information Environment programme. The NeISS project will build a generic production quality social simulation e-Infrastructure covering the social simulation lifecycle. More information on this project can be found at the following link: http://www.neiss.org.uk