Archive for category Historical Maps

The App!

Ok so this is it, the project ended 4 weeks ago, but we’ve been fiddling with it ever since.

Its a very cool product and has opened up many possibilities in terms of research, innovation and possible industrial links.

This is the link:

TBC - having to make a last minute adjustment - sorry Chris

you will need a password, and if you’re part of an HE organisation just email me and i’ll let you in:

The reason that its protected to HE organisations is simply the mapping licenses, but this may change over time if the Prime Minister keeps his word!


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Cross Platform?

One of our goals was to try and produce something which worked cross platform.  We recognised this was a bit of a steep call but our lofty goals haven’t stopped us this far.  As a lot of our earlier work was focused on exploring navigation techniques and ideas we got a little swept up in iPhone mania (I blame Chris personally) but worry not…

android Video

I gave it a spin in the android simulator and well … it works …

Kind of, a lot of the functionality which we are relying on api’s for doesn’t seem to work in the emulator but what does work is the very basics of the application - which is really, really encouraging

Please excuse the crudely put together flash video but I was so excited that I a) got the emulator to work and b) the application worked, I felt a need to share…

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Testing Times Ahead!

Chris is going to have good play with the version 1 of the application.

So we have produced a very quick summary of the available functions in the first phase of testing

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Work on the Basics

With our recent successes in prototpying our next step is to get the basic functionality agreed:

Create Database Model -> 1 day
follow the user - > poll position - 1 day
Navigation across the top - to change the map layers - Fixed - 0.5 day
Query and display of markers - API - 2 days
Simple Route - 3 days

This is what we are looking at for our first bigger release of the software.  Our prototype at the moment is running away quite nicely at the back of the room but we are looking to build in the database functionality as our next big step.

In the loose set of requirements we identified for next bigger phase, include the following:

Routes Administration
Edit Landmarks
Settings and displays of application
Adding Notes to Landmarks
View by Notes - Using the Notes against a landmark to drive the navigation in terms of tagclouds etc
View by Landmarks - Sizing of the landmarks with the time period relating to size.
Make the routes more complex - changing the layers as the user progresses through the route.


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Typographic Map - This is quite amazing and kind of related to our discussion about Tag Clouds and Mapping

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Talk of Deloreans and TagClouds

As we got our demo working our next phase is to move onto actually making it do something.  So after some sessions with Chris and Karlyn, Petra and I went away and attempted to come up with something useful which would describe some of the processes and screens in a meaningful way.  After some furious white-boarding, scribbling, crossing out, revising and chatting we managed to get a fairly workable model and a clear set of tasks/functions.

I used balsamiq mockups to create some fairly loose demo screens, which is a great prototyping tool as it has iphone templates making it easy to frame everything in a mobile context.

Here are some of the results.  Describing the starting points and what happens when the user goes back in time

After talking about some of these things we started to discuss how to represent time as a navigation item in the system.  Petra and I had originally proposed the size of the marker being how far back or forward in time the object is located.  Allowing the user to shift between maps and map sets without having to fully understand the datasets available to them.  Karlyn and Chris expanded on this by looking at it a different way and using the title of the landmark as a kind of visual “Tag Cloud”, and perhaps using the number of comments a landmark gets to influence the size of the text - removing the time element but creating an interesting social/folksonmy element. This style also lends itself to using tagging etc to create different perspectives on the data.

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Our area for testing

area1This is the area that we’ll be testing the project around.

The area is steeped in history and has a great many historical maps that re kept online for us to access.

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One Small Step…

One small step for the Team. On Friday we managed to get our first image rendered locked to our position  - well in truth after a little bit of fiddling around, we got it.
This was done using Javascript to get the position and then a call to the map server and out came an image which was pretty close to where we were using an iPod Touch but it should work with most platforms that support the Javascript.

We are currently exploring some of the techniques and methods we can use to try and navigate within the map and the phyisical space.

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Victorian Town Plans Overlays

Ian found this at the National Library of Scotland

 Victorian town plans top satellite views

Town plan and satellite view

Elgin satellite and town plan layers.
List of town plans with overlays

The latest feature in their online maps series makes it easy to contrast Victorian Scottish town plans with modern satellite images.

Using image overlays, users can switch between Google Maps, Virtual Earth satellite and map layers and Ordnance Survey plans.

ecaThe 62 large-scale town plans are the earliest and most detailed OS mapping ever published. In total there are 1,900 sheets produced from a survey between 1847 and 1895. We have accurately positioned them to create a seamless layer on top of the satellite and maps layer.

Users can also search the OS large scale town plans using a zoomable map and a street gazetteer and by National Grid Reference.

This is Edinburgh College of Art with the cattle market.

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This could be good…

and in particular this essay inside:

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