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Using Map Overlays

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 386
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Using Map Overlays Reply with quote

You have probably noticed that I love to play with maps. A lot of interesting information can be gleaned from various maps, particularly by superimposing various data on them. The map page can be accessed from the navigation bar at the top of the various website pages. The first time you use these maps, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and read the instructions.

When this page is first loaded, the default display is a satellite map centered on the I-70 junction at Concordia with an 1877 plat map faintly overlayed on it. The instructions at the bottom of the page explain all of the various controls that can be used to adjust the map settings. A pull-down box directly above the map allows one to switch between overlays maps.

In some earlier blogs, I noted how one can trace historical data by looking at the property ownership from the old plat maps. One might find some of the centennial farms from them. It is interesting to note how many young people in the earlier, less mobile years married their next-door neighbors. One example can be found among my Kappelman ancestors. My grandmother Maria Kappelman married her neighbor Henry Frerking, older sister Elise married Richard Riesterer who lived on the other side of them, and a younger sister Augusta married Wilhelm Deke who lived a few miles down the road.

Geo-tagged information can also be marked on maps. That makes possible the convergence of various popular features on the Web. Check boxes are provided above the map display to turn on different tags.

The first check box provides a link to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. When you check that box, the Wikipedia markers (small boxes with a W in them) will be displayed depending on the current map area. They indicate that there is an article on the site that has been tagged with a location within the map area. Click on the Wikipedia markers to bring up articles about various locations and sites. A balloon will be displayed with summary information. Inside the balloon is a link to the full article on the Wikipedia website.

If you want to test your command of the German language (standard German, not Plattdeutsch), you might try the German Wiki (Wiki DE). Although the information will still be displayed in English around Concordia, if you zoom out and move to Germany, the articles there will be in German. While there, you might want to look for the towns where your ancestors came from.

The third check box is used to display certain photos. The small thumbnail provides access to geotagged photos that have been posted on the Panoramio website (like the cannonball in the column of the courthouse at Lexington). Some day I may put some photos of the old rural schools, for example, on that site so you can see where they were located.

Finally, a fourth checkbox is provided to show tags for some YouTube postings (i.e. if they have geographic information included). There could even be something interesting on it. Maybe I'll put a few old movie clips from some of the locations there.

One can get a little carried away adding overlays. If you zoom out a bit, the maps can become quite cluttered and the markers obscure the maps beneath them. That's why the check boxes were used on this page. Turn on only those displays you are interested in when you've moved the map to a given area. There is one slight bug. If you use the slider to adjust the map overlay transparency, the markers are erased. Toggle the check box off and on again to redraw the markers.

If you think of any good uses of map overlays, this is the place to post your ideas.
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