Atlases

Atlas Types II

3607.1 - Design and Implementation of a Novel Geospatial Search Tool for Atlas Collections

Monday, July 3
2:50 PM - 3:10 PM
Location: Maryland B

The HsKA atlas collection contains over 1200 volumes, and is an underutilized resource at the university. In order to broaden interest and provide easier access to the collection, a web application was developed for students, and faculty, as well as those from outside the university. The principal design of the application is to use a map to display the geographic extents of all atlases. The user specifies an area of interest on the map and a spatial selection is performed. The search tool is further augmented by traditional bibliographic information. The overall goal is to help library visitors, identify if an individual atlas meets their interest, without needing to take the atlas off the shelf, or if used online without prior need to visit the collection.
The HsKA atlas web application builds upon spatial selection concepts used in map sharing web applications and geoportals (e.g. Christoph et al. 2016; Reed 2015), while bringing these concepts to the field of atlas visualization. The HsKA web application displays atlases as a spatial representation of the area(s) that an atlas covers, however the display style differs from traditional map sharing applications because of the nature of atlases. The difference is due to the fundamental nature of atlases containing more than one map, often differing in scale and geographic coverage. The traditional map sharing applications display the map as a rectangular polygon, representing the extent of the map. The HsKA web application displays the areas that an atlas covers (usually geopolitical boundaries). The effects are such that, individual maps in the traditional web applications are represented as area maps, whereas most of the atlas extents are represented like island maps. In order to accommodate the versatile atlas coverages, a distinction between ten geometry types was required, including points, and polygons, single or multiple thereof, or a mix of both. The result is more highly detailed information about the extent an individual atlas covers.
The web application consists of three main elements. A web map, a results panel and an information window. The web map displays the extents of the atlases. By manipulating the map extent, the results panel is dynamically updated with a list of all atlases whose extent is contained by the present map boundary. Each list element in the results panel has a thumbnail of the atlas in question, as well as its title and shelf location. If any row of the table is selected, an info window opens and provides a larger image of the atlas, as well as full bibliographic information for the selected volume.
The web application is built upon the ArcGIS for Server platform, utilizing the ArcGIS API for JavaScript for the web application functionality. The dynamic selection process is based upon a spatial query. The web application utilizes the web map scale to improving the render and query performance. This allows for coincidental atlas extents to be viewed at the same time, allowing for simultaneous visual comparison between atlas volumes, a feature which is not common in map sharing applications. In addition the application includes tools to facilitate maintaining and updating the system when new atlases are added to the collection, as well as to provide visual overviews on the overall holdings.
The HsKA atlas collection web application, takes traditional web application techniques and conceptually extends them to atlases. The implementation provides an example of making paper atlases more approachable in today’s digital age, by providing a visual overview on their versatility in regard to geographic coverage and atlas topic or category, without having to physically visit a library.

Gertrud Schaab

Lecturer
Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Information Management and Media

Prof. Dr. Gertrud Schaab is professor for 'Thematic cartography, spatial visualisation, map compilation and design, geospatial analysis, and geography' in the Faculty of Information Management and Media at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences since 2002. Her lecturers cover a wide range across cartography, GIS and remote sensing, which she teaches in the Bachelor programmes 'Geo-Information Management' and 'Geodesy and Navigation', as well as in the International Geomatics Master programme. In her research she aims at combining GIS, remote sensing and visualisation, with a focus on environmental applications and Eastern Afrrica. At HsKA she is responsible for the Esri Development Centre.

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Alexander Boie

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Information Management and Media

Alexander Boie received his Masters' degree from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, where he studied the International Master programme on Geomatics. For his final thesis he conceptualized and set-up the Geospatial Search Tool for the university's atlas collection.

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Christian Stern

Dipl.-Ing. (FH)
Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Information Management and Media

Christian Stern is a trained cartographer but has specialized in geographic information systems. At Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences he is responsible for the GIS lab and supports students and lecturers in regard to GIS. He enjoys testing new techology and teaching students in the practical use of GIS. He is also the technical coordinator of the Esri Development Centre.

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Send Email for Eric Losang


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