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.

Featured Map: TARC Transit Bus System

Have you ever wanted to take the TARC, but had trouble navigating the myriad images and PDFs of all the routes on their site? Here is an interactive map that shows a satellite road map with a toggleable TARC route overlay on top! Zoom and pan instantly to your heart's content to see how to get around Louisville.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Consuming Louisville: One Thing I Love About Louisville

Michelle at the local blog Consuming Louisville recently asked me to be part of her "One Thing I Love About Louisville" series. I happily obliged and came up with an answer for her blog post.

Here's what she said about the article:
In this essay Michael Schnuerle of Metro Mapper not only shares some of his love of Louisville but also some really interesting Louisville geography information. I'm smarter about our city for having read his essay (do you know how Poplar Level got it's name?).
With multiple posts per day on lots of interesting local interest topics and conversation starters, Consuming Louisville is a real treat for the city. Here's what the site is about.
Consuming Louisville is your guide to great restaurants, shops, events and happenings in Louisville. We strive to try, support, publicize and give time and money to people and businesses doing interesting and cool things in Louisville.
Thanks a lot for the opportunity, Michelle.

Name Dropping in The Ville Voice

Louisville based The Ville Voice mentioned Metro Mapper in a recent blog post.
We’re also mighty impressed with the work of Michael Schnuerle, the founder and CEO of Metro Mapper. The site allows users to create maps that show locations of crime, sex offenders, real estate for sale, restaurants and historic sites. Lots and lots of data. Check it out.
Thevillevoice.com is a local blog that dishes out local commentary about the goings on in and around Louisville:
This site isn’t just about the big news that makes our city tick, but also the stories behind the stories. We’ll examine the way our local media operates, and dish out a mix of compliments and complaints about personalities and politics of Metro Louisville.
Thanks for the props, Jake and Rick!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Update: Your Searches are Now Remembered

By popular request, your last search on any map is now brought up automatically when you switch maps, or when you come back to the site later! So if you always search around your home, the site will remember that for you.

In addition, the search is done instantly for you when you visit a map. The default settings are used, which you can change and re-search. If it's your first time to the site, the search is centered around Louisville, Kentucky.

Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming! We are also working on letting users with free accounts store multiple addresses, which can be accessed from any computer.