The UF Digital Collections now has a new map interface. It’s only out in beta right now, but it’s already awesome. The new map interface is explained here and active in beta here.
The new interface allows users to:
- Search by address
- Search by selecting a point on a map
- Search by selecting an area on a map
The new interface is for the Florida historical aerial photographs, which people often use to find information on land use for a small area. The aerials are taken in flight lines, and so they cover large areas. To make them usable in the ideal manner, people need to be able to search by the address and then see the results that are closest to that address both overall (the flight level, with some matches) and the tile/individual photograph level for the exact matches.
Luckily for everyone involved with the Florida aerials, the UF Digital Collections, and for all of the users of all of the collections, Mark Sullivan both implemented the searching by collection and new functionality for using the results at the flight and tile levels.
For instance, see the results lists with all of the items and their locations like this. By clicking on one of those flights, then the matching individual tiles within the flight are shown on the left side like this.
As incredibly exciting as this is, what’s really exciting – to me – is how this continues the overall smart design of all of UFDC by making sure that all work serves existing and future needs. For future needs, this will eventually be incorporated into the online metadata editing. Then, people will able to draw an area or add a point to a Google map and have that automatically add the latitude and longitude to the metadata. Once the information is there, then everyone will be able to view and find those items using the map interface.
It can’t show all of the value from smart design and optimally leveraging new technologies. Of course, that doesn’t really matter because the new map interface is incredible even when viewed in isolation, so try it out!