Google Maps and Spatial History
Sophisticated works such as the Spatial History Project and Ben Schmidt’s Whaling Maps Project take substantial technical effort to achieve their effects; in general, lengthy training in the use of specialized GIS software is required. We have our own example in the DECIMA Project run by Prof. Terpstra in our department.
Read this part! Follow the links!
- working in the JSBin Online Editor, which we saw briefly in the first class, and using a copy you can download and work with on your own.
The latter version also serves as an introduction to the Github code-sharing platform. If you continue working with code-based academic projects, you will eventually want to learn more about git, which is an enormously powerful resource. Our next assignment will also be made available on Github, so this is a chance to get a head start. If you want to work locally, I strongly recommend the newly-released Atom Code Editor. If you also install the atom-html-preview package, you will get live updates of your code in a second tab, almost like in jsbin. See the documentation for more info.
The data in a GIS is all geotagged, that is, assigned a set of geographical co-ordinates. This sounds simple but it is actually quite complex, since any co-ordinate system is a simplified projection of real, disordered, 3-dimensional space. Many of the frustrations of working with GIS comes from the difficulty of rendering (say) historical map images commensurate with modern, satellite-derived maps.
Within a GIS, information is generally accessed as a set of layers. Data of specific types is stratified in layers, in much the same way that one creates image layers in photoshop. This image gives a typical example. Note that the creation of layers is itself an intellectual decision, relying on judgments about the relationships between individual bits of data.
Controlling Google Maps
You don’t have to understand the Google Maps API very thoroughly to be able to do this assignment. The code comes pre-written; all you have to do is hack at it till it does what you want it to.
# one or more '#' marks indicates a headline ### this one is "level 3" *a single asterisk is emphasis, or italics* **two are strong, or bold** An empty line separates paragraphs. > blockquotes are made with angle brackets > like this
You can also mix HTML in with markdown and it will generally render perfectly well. This is important for us because we have to create some
<div> elements, which markdown can’t do for us.
While you’re coding, reflect on the satisfaction that good, honest work brings to the act of electronic communication.
theme=unitedto one of the other supported “swatches” – I’m a fan of “cyborg” and “slate”, myself.