Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Neo-Geo Notebook

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Andrew Turner came to New Orleans last week to meet up with NetSquared New Orleans and faculty at the Tulane School of Architecture. Both meetings were quite informative and very valuable. These are a few of my notes.

1. MapWarper. This tool is in development and indeed comes with the following warning: Proto-Alpha - expect it to break and stuff to get deleted!

MapWarper is a tool for creating a custom basemap. My source map was from a Tulane student project in 1950, documented on 35mm slide and scanned into the New Orleans Virtual Archive. Basically the user indicates matching points between two maps. And a new map layer is born. I picked a tricky source, so my map is a bit more warped than it should be. I asked Andrew about the next step after MapWarper and I think that's where it flies a bit over my head. Nevertheless a cool tool to play with a have a better understanding of how one could create a custom basemap for a presentation. I would love to have a virtual library of historic basemaps stored in layers, so one could view data on different maps. Just layering two maps together can provide some interesting information about the changes in urban fabric over time.
2. EyeFi Explore. This is a souped up memory card. It can automatically upload photos to your computer or online photo storage service, like flickr or picasa. It also geocodes the photos (and records this info in photo EXIF profile) IF there is a wireless hotspot. I used this card last week in a trial session. It worked fairly well, but was unfortunately not accurate enough. And was of course ineffective in sites without wireless hotspots, like the Lower Ninth Ward. Interesting tool, but not as good as a gps.
3. . Another great resource. Some top institutions (Library of Congress, Smithsonian) are uploading archival images with no known copyright restrictions to the Flickr Commons for all to use. The Commons encourages the public to assist with the description and tagging of the photos.
4. SlideShare. This service allows one to upload a powerpoint or keynote presentation. Very nice. Review Andrew's presentation at Tulane here: Rebuilding a City through Community Participation, Neogeography and GIS
Many thanks, Andrew!


rcs said...

Very nice! I'd love to try the MapWarper on some Sanborn maps.

Francine Stock said...

Indeed. It would be very interesting to layer the Sanborn maps. Years ago we did this for our neighborhood block in photoshop. The early Sanborn maps show a dairy farm on our block with a single farmhouse. By layering the 1890-something map with early 20th c. map, we could see that the original structure did not line up with any of the houses on our block.