Cartographic Heritage into the Digital

Georeferencing and Cartoheritage on the Web

6111.1 - Displaying annotations for digitised globes

Thursday, July 6
8:30 AM - 8:50 AM
Location: Hoover

Thanks to the efforts of the various globe digitising projects, nowadays there are plenty of old globes that can be examined as 3D models on the computer screen. These globes usually contain a lot of interesting details that an average observer would not entirely discover for the first time.
The authors developed a website that can display annotations for such digitised globes. These annotations help observers of the globe to discover all the important, interesting details.
Technical details
Most of the digitised globes are available as KMZ “superoverlay” files, originally designed to be opened with Google Earth. Our website drapes these KMZ files to the surface of the Cesium virtual globe. Annotations are descriptive texts linked to points or polygons on the globe surface and are also stored in KML or KMZ files. If the user moves the mouse over an area that has an annotation, the reference polygon or point is highlighted, and clicking on it displays a popup window with the descriptive text. The webpage also displays a list of the annotations available; clicking on a list item rotates the globe to display the featured area.
Currently there is no dedicated software for creating annotation KML files as geobrowsers like Google Earth can be directly used for this task: users can open the digitised globe overlays, and start adding polygons completed with descriptive text.
The website can be used in two ways. In the first case it serves as an extension to the Virtual Globes Museum – if there are annotations available for a globe, they can be explored by following the appropriate link in the globe description. Alternatively, any other globe (available on the web as KMZ file) can be completed by annotations by providing the URLs of the globe overlay KMZ and the annotation KML/KMZ file.
This research is supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office – NKFIH. Grant number: PD 111737.

Mátyás Gede

Senior lecturer
Eötvös Loránd University

Mátyás Gede is a senior lecturer at the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. His main fields of interest are globe digitising, virtual globes, webcartography and map projections. He is the vice chair of the ICA Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital.


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Anna Farbinger

Eötvös Loránd University

Anna Farbinger is an MSc level student at Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest


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Angeliki Tsorlini

ETH Zurich, Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation

Angeliki Tsorlini is a postdoctoral researcher in Cartography at the Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, since 2012. She graduated in Rural and Surveying Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece in 2004. In 2005, she received a M.Sc. degree in Cartographic Production and Geographic Analysis at the same University and in 2011, the Doctor of Engineering degree in Digital Cartography. She has worked on different projects and her research interest is focused mainly on the digital analysis of historical maps and the information which can be extracted from them.


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6111.1 - Displaying annotations for digitised globes

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