THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Maps and views blog

3 posts categorized "Website"

21 February 2014

Historic maps in the public domain

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Maps contained within the pages of 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century books are still being unearthed. Of the one million images that the Library extracted from scanned volumes and explosed on Flickr Commons, over 2,100 have already been tagged as maps by the public!

As these map images are in the public domain and so open for reuse, we've seen new interpretations, further exposure, and interesting geospatial applications. For instance, John Leighton's 1895 diagrammatic map of London Indexed in Two-Mile Hexagons has been brought up to date and into space in this dynamic visualisation created for International Open Data Day tomorrow in Osaka City, Japan. Though I've been warned that this is a work-in-progress, it is impressive already; the newly geo-aware index is interactively linked to its 18 component hexagonal maps, with the current location in OpenStreetMap appearing alongside. Ollie described the purpose of Leighton's mapping scheme in his Mapping London blog post in December. The results of making these maps available just keep getting better.

 Hexagon map images - web

Work-in-progress at http://museum-media.jp/london/
Hexagon map images - web2

Leighton's index map, the 18 component maps, and other images from the book

Here at the Library we're anticipating opening up the 2,100+ maps for public georeferencing. Once all of the one million images get tagged with keywords in Flickr, those identified as maps will be consolidated and released via BL Georeferencer. Please lend a hand by finding and tagging any maps among the remaining images! 

23 December 2013

What are these bits of maps?

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Georeferencing the Library's Goad plans of British and Irish towns is progressing well.  I've been asked several times, however, about the miniscule slices of maps that we're asking you to place. What are these obscure and tiny pieces of maps, and how to tell where they are located?Goad - bit of mapPieces such as above are portions of original paper map sheets as published by Chas. E. Goad Ltd. When a block or other important area extended beyond the bounds of the page, it was simply printed elsewhere on the sheet, with a reference to its location. This was done for reasons of economy; key areas could be included without adding to the cost of paper and printing. In the sheet below, the dark outline indicates an inset, with the block number "8" identifying its location on the main map.

  Goad - bit on page

So how can a user of BL Georeferencer know what sheet a bit appears on? All insets are linked to the main map page on which they appear. Choose the "This Map" tab within the Georeferencer application. By clicking "Original web presentation", the bit is shown on the larger map sheet which will include a reference to its location.Goad - continued map
These map "bits" are important to place in order to provide the full available mapping of an area! Above image of the Deptford Bridge area of London shows the "bit" adjacent to its location on the main map sheet.

Once properly georeferenced, these small pieces will continue and complete the maps in their correct places - an eloquent solution to the problem of viewing insets on paper maps!

Try out BL Georeferencer if you are up for a visual, geographic, and historic challenge. Locating the remaining pieces is a like solving a Victorian map puzzle!

29 April 2010

Last 24 hours of the exhibition build

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Photos by my colleague Dave Dubuisson as promised. Some of the exhibits are very large and present quite a challenge.

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Maps36

Finally a preview of one of the 'interactives' that allow you to examine four maps in detail. Although it's designed to look like a magnifying glass, it isn't. It's much more complicated! When you visit the exhibition (from tomorrow) you'll be able to see how it works.

Interactive

On the website - now live - you can use our adapted zoomify tool to get a similar experience. Zoom in close and read our curators' notes about some of the details.