Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Historic Map Overlay - Test and Proof of Concept

We've just completed a test application of overlaying two of UofL's historic 1913 maps on top of Google's current satellite images and street maps.

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but finally got the time and tools to test it out. It's very time and server bandwidth consuming, but the results are well worth it I think.

Note that you can control the transparency with the black slider at the top right of the map.


Take a look and let me know what you think. I'd love to do this with all of their maps across the whole city, but here is what we'd need:
1. Access to all the high res images in the UofL archive (6 for 1876, 30 for 1884, and 112 for 1913)

2. Stitch them all together for each year into 3 big images (easily 100,000s of pixels across)

3. Convert them into map overlays

4. Host and serve them out to the public
Anyone know how to achieve these goals?

#1 would need to be through UofL's involvement.

We could do #2 also but would prefer not to due to the time involved and the hardware requirements to handle the images smoothly.

Metro Mapper can do #3 (it's what we're good at :).

And #4 we can do, but it is mildly expensive. The sample map contains about 150MB of image data overlays, so the final ones would be over 100GB I bet. Plus there is considerable bandwidth involved in serving them to users. I'd need payment or sponsorship of the maps. Or maybe UofL would host them after the work was done.

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