The British Library, London: Old Maps Online


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The British Library, London: Old Maps Online

  1. 1. Petr Pridal <> The British Library, London, UK, May 31st 2012
  2. 2. Who am I?Managing director of a small Swiss company:Klokan Technologies GmbH.Innovative geo applications in culture heritage.Software development services & customizationof open-source projects, participation on grants.Clients:,, David Rumsey (USA),,, Swiss libraries, ...
  3. 3. OldMapsOnline.orgAn easy-to-use gateway tohistorical maps in libraries around the world.
  4. 4. The projectLibrary catalogs & fulltext search fail on maps.Search by geographical location / areaIndexing maps from several institutionsOne click to view the map in high resolutionFree to access and open for contributionsAudience: general public, genealogists,historians, academics, researchers
  5. 5. We want to...Bring online visitors to the websites ofparticipating institutions to view the mapsPromote the map libraries and their contentDo proper crediting: logo and links backStore only minimal metadata & thumbnailsMake it easier to discover the scanned mapsBoost the number of online visits of mapsAllow users to find maps from “deep web”
  6. 6. Zoom in or out, or drag the main map tomove sideways, until you can clearly seethe part of the world you want maps for.You can also use the search field on the top to find a place or define thetime period of interest with the sliders.
  7. 7. SustainabilityProject actively developed with the supportfrom JISC (UK) until January 2013Basic maintenance covered until 2018Google Ads to help cover the hosting costsParticipation on a future research projectsfor improvements of the technology andoptimizations of the map management
  8. 8. TechnologyBased on the MapRank Search technology in 2010 by Klokan Technologiesfor Swiss project, improvedfor Czech libraries and for David RumseyUseful for large metadata catalogs +geospatial digital repositories.Details in the article published in D-Lib:doi:10.1045/september2011-oehrli
  9. 9. TechnologyMapRank ranking: an advanced algorithmcalculating coverage similarity of geographicalarea of query and area covered by everydocument and combining it with map scale,time range, predefined categories andtraditional full text search.
  10. 10. TechnologyData indexing implemented specifically toprovide ranked real-time results even for largedatabases. Traditional R-Tree indexing orLucene are failing.Server component: FastCGI, C++Default user interface developed with ClosureJavaScript Library + Closure Compiler.
  11. 11. How can you help?Use the system & send us ideas forimprovement and report bugsShare: blog, twitter, facebook, google+We are calling for institutions who wouldlike to include their maps. It is for free.Institutions retain all the rights.Submission of maps from individuals atlater point (technically more problematic)
  12. 12. ContributeHigh resolution (300dpi+ or 2 Megapixel+)maps with a zoomable viewer onlinePermanent URL with direct access - nopassword or payment requiredMetadata with DublinCore elementssupplied in a spreadsheet (XLS). Later OAI-PMH harvesting.Bounding box (MARC 034, DCMI BOX, ...)
  13. 13. Bounding box
  14. 14. Bounding box encoding MARC: field 034034: $$dE0055700$$eE0102900$$fN0474800$$gN0454900255: $$cE 5°5700"-E 10°2900"/N 47°4800"-N 45°4900" DublinCore: DCMI BoxDCMI BOX: westlimit=5.9559; southlimit=45.818;eastlimit=10.4921; northlimit=47.8084 ISO 19115 / FGDC / OGC
  15. 15. How to create such records? BoundingBox Tool + Geoparser Tool Georeferencer Tool
  16. 16. BoundingBox ToolBoundingBox Tool: Cataloguing whileholding the physical maps - manualselection of the area on an online map(used by Swiss libraries, David Rumsey, ...)Geoparser: Semi-automatic rapid process -with suggestion of the area by analyzingexisting textual metadata.
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Georeferencer ToolEnrichment of the online scanned mapsA tool which runs in a web browserAn online service - no software installationUses volunteers for metadata enrichmentSuccessful pilots in several institutions
  19. 19. 20
  20. 20. 21
  21. 21. Georeferencer3D visualization (Google Earth)Accuracy analysis (MapAnalyst)Bounding Box (metadata enrichment)Institution can internally generate geodata(GeoTIFF)Optional: WMS and WMTS for scannedmaps in libraries. One per revision.
  22. 22. GeoreferencerIt allows to turn the existing online scans intogeodata in a web browser3D visualization as a side productSupport true collaborative editingIt retains log of all operations (a la Wikipedia)- you can adjust it with a few clicks
  23. 23. GeoreferencerEnhanced crowdsourcing support:Motivation, competition, rewarding, progressindicators, graphs - live widgets to include inthe websites of the library
  24. 24. CompetitiveCrowdsourcing
  25. 25. GeoreferencerEasy integration with the institution websitewith a simple API and “intelligent links”.Widgets & live data outputs available.
  26. 26. GeoreferencerTarget: open platform for personal onlineresearch with mapsDevelopment started and continues incollaboration with R&D department ofMoravian Library in Brno, Czech RepublicShared development costs with allparticipating institutionsFuture: Annotations (LinkedData), detectionof duplicates, support of map series, etc.
  27. 27. Old Maps Online LaunchProject announced in the end of February inNew York and LondonOver 30.000 visitors per day on the websiteafter launchOver 250.000 visitors since the beginning ofthe projectTwo servers in a load balancer to handle thetraffic after launch.
  28. 28. PublicitySocial Networks: Twitter, FacebookGoogle Developer Showcase + Google I/O 2012BBC History magazine online slideshowLa Stampa (Milan, Italy) newspaperGizmodo, Ars Technica, The (Japan), Genealogy,Playtech.r (Romania), Portsmouth News(UK), ... TV spot in Catalonya: link
  29. 29. Old Maps ... thank you ...
  30. 30. Culture Globe / Europeana Globe for high resolution scans - mobile devices friendly - replacing Zoomify IIPImage JPEG2000 / TIFF emulating Zoomify