Doing some recreational browsing / email catchup this weekend and just wanted to throw out some links and comments. In the spirit of Jordan Jesse Go! I’ll give you some editorializing along the way.
Hang It Up!
Some technologies and projects are in need of serious work. Others have outlived their usefulness and someone should turn out the lights.
- National Memory’s MrSid files and the map viewer interface
The interpretive text and curation are lovely. The maps stunning. But the html 1 web interface and full-downloads available only as the archaic MrSID? Boo! Time to forward migrate some of this data Library of Congress. Why make a web page in 2011 if you’re not going to improve the U/X?
- FactFinder 2
Requires Firefox 3.2 or IE 7. Note: not “at least”
Yeah: this one’s mine. Well, at least I inherited it. And much like a moose head or the steamer-trunk your great-grandfather carried with him from Poland, Globetrotter is no longer a usable tool. It’s an artifact: the last public and operating piece of the Alexandria Digital Library. I’m working on it.
Keep it up!
- National Memory: at least you can download full resolution versions of all the images! You’re still the granddaddy of them all and no matter how dowdy your dark and musty corners are, at least I know where to find you. Besides: where else would I go look for a Battle of Bull Run map?
- National Library of Scotland
And their ExpressView interface. I think these are still MrSID’s, but with an html 5 interface? And then there’s the seamless mosaic Google Maps version of the 1/2″ = 1 mile maps. With transparency slider! That’s hot.
- Klokan geo-developer and OS software projects
My new favorite geoBlog. The parent company has a clear set of services–if only I knew how much this stuff costs. Anybody done business with these folks? (you know, other than you, National Library of Scotland.)
- 2010 “American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States.”
Is this the longest running Census sheet map? I think there is one for every census. This year’s introduces a new labeling scheme (maybe someone got the Maplex engine for their birthday?). The only way to make this map better? Show what’s new since the previous census.
- Chris Thiry over at the Colorado School of Mines shares his index maps not just as downloadable KMZs, not just as zipped up shapefiles, but also live at arcGISonline.
Why bring all this up now? Because I’m doing a lot of looking. More and more people are asking what is coming down the road, and the ability of any individual cartographer or librarian making a compelling web object is increasing (I’m looking at you Chris Thiry). When a whole institution decides to put muscle behind online projects (I’m looking at you Scotland), it’s more likely to succeed. While a lot of these sorts of projects are built on standard digital collections engines, quite a few of them were custom built in the 1990s and were never intended to last as long as they have. It’s like I’ve got the Spirit and Opportunity of digital libraries. Groundbreaking for the time, but everyone wants to take Curiosity to the prom.
And before anyone complains: keep in mind I left the strongest words for myself and I tease you because I love you. And in the end, please remember that deep down I’m just a 12-year-old boy and I’m doing it for the lulz.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.