Visualising Urban Geographies - Stuart Nichol

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Presentation given at the Geospatial in the Cultural Heritage Domain - Past, Present & Future event in London on 7th March 2012. The event was organised as part of the JISC GECO project.

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Visualising Urban Geographies - Stuart Nichol

  1. 1. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Project team •Professor Richard Rodger (University of Edinburgh) •Chris Fleet (National Library of Scotland) •Stuart Nicol (University of Edinburgh) •Daniel Henrie (National Library of Scotland)
  2. 2. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/• Objectives of the project;• Outputs;• More detail about the online mapping tools;• Sustainability;• Lessons learned?
  3. 3. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Objectives of the project • To create a set of geo-referenced historical maps of Edinburgh (for student learning purposes); • To reach a broader public (through NLS website); • To develop tools for working with and visualising historical source material; • To develop dynamic maps, graphs and diagrams relating to Edinburgh, so as to further the understanding of 19th and 20th century cities. = Pilot or Proof of Concept Project
  4. 4. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Outputs• Resources: • 25 georeferenced maps of Edinburgh 1765 – 1950 (WMS, TMS and downloadable JPG/JGW). • A suite of digitised boundary polygons (ShapeFiles and KML).• Documented workflows.• Online mapping tools.
  5. 5. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Mapping tools for historians• The website http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/• Aims: • Avoid complicated GIS; • Quick wins for the user – not ‘mission- critical’ accuracy; • Quick wins for the project – small team with minimal specialist IT support;• Relatively heavy reliance on Google APIs.
  6. 6. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Address-based history• Social & economic historians tend to gather a lot of geographic data;• Find it hard to visualise that data geographically;• Looking for patterns – it doesn’t have to be accurate.
  7. 7. http://urbhist.nls.uk/extmap/ssindex.php?ssid=0AubsC9Ep6FwtdEdTVHhrcGRKNnJVTnc5UTFmTTljcWc
  8. 8. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Lightweight ‘mashup’ design• APIs • Google Maps, Geocoding, Elevation, Visualization, Docs & Spreadsheets • Yahoo geocoding • NLS Historic Mapping, AddressingHistory• Tile Map Services & KML/GeoRSS • NLS (OS OpenData), OpenStreeMap, Virtual Earth, user generated• JS libraries • (ExtJS/ExtMap, JQuery)
  9. 9. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Issues: sustainability & licensing • Google Maps API V2 depricated • Licensing: what are the issues related to batch geocoding from Google? • BatchGeo.com • Lack of control over changes to APIs • Open HTTP or API? • TMS or WMS? Are our resources sustainable?
  10. 10. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Issues: resources & skills • We’ve benefited from partnership with NLS – others don’t have that level of access to maps, skills & infrastructure; • Problem of accessing and preparing maps for other areas; • Who should be taking a lead?
  11. 11. http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/Lessons learned?• We’ve found it useful to engage with commercial free-to-use services & APIs (quick and functional) ...• but aware of the big drawbacks & limitations;• Have successfully engaged researchers and the wider community.

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