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ThingsWeStart: Kickstarter projects mapped by location

Want to look at Kickstarter in a whole new way? This map interface makes discovering projects by geographical area a snap.

A look at the ThingsWeStart Web site. (Click to enlarge.) Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Check out ThingsWeStart, a Web site launched earlier this week that displays current Kickstarter projects on an interactive map. Users of the site can drag their mouse around and view local projects, or perhaps peep on an endeavor in a nearby city.

Aside from a general search by city, state, or ZIP code, the magnifying glass near the ThingsWeStart logo offers the option to filter by the type of Kickstarter project. This provides a unique lens to see ventures in lesser-known categories, such as fashion, theater, publishing, design, and so on. Clicking on a project lets you view the related video and a link to see the listing on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter already allows you to gaze at projects by city, but the crowd-funding Web site doesn't offer a map-type view like ThingsWeStart, which simulates the familiar interface commonly seen in navigation software. I tested ThingsWeStart on an iPhone 4, and it didn't render very well in the limited resolution. The experience did work well with various Web browsers on the iPad 2 and a PC computer, however.

One minor caveat worth noting: If a project lists a major city as its home, zooming further into that listing doesn't reveal the exact location of the project creator. So when looking deeper into my nearby city of Atlanta, the map merely centered projects around the city in no specific order.

Additionally, ThingsWeStart runs a blog that covers interesting Kickstarter tidbits. We spotted a series of infographics covering the top five most profitable cities for Kickstarter in design, music, technology, games, and film/video projects. You might find the results surprising.

We couldn't help but share this infographic showing the most successful (top 10) Kickstarter cities. (Click to enlarge.) ThingsWeStart