[Talk-GB] Update: Deploying our own version of NYPL Building Inspector

Rob Nickerson rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com
Sun Jun 1 17:25:30 UTC 2014

Hi All,

An update on progress deploying our own version of NYPL's historic map
vectorizer/building inspector tool [1].

   1. Chris Fleet from National Library of Scotland (NLS) has kindly
   provided a couple of GeoTiff example scans from their London 1890's maps
   2. Using the NYPL map-vectorizer [3] I am able to get initial building
   outlines from these maps.
   3. Tim Waters has managed to get a copy of the NYPL website up ready for
   loading NLS's maps/vectorized buildings. This is at [4]. Meanwhile he has
   opened initial conversations with the British Library who also have a good
   collection of historic maps.
   4. I am concerned that the initial building outlines end up leaving gaps
   between terraced buildings. This is due to the way that the NYPL
   map-vecotrizer works to trace the _inside_ of buildings. I'm no GIS expert
   so may be missing a simple solution. However I have noticed that we could
   use the Strava Slide tool [5] to 'slide' the building polygons onto the
   building walls. In essence this works by using pixel "blackness" of the map
   scan (rather than GPS traces as per the initial Strava Slide tool).
   5. I have contacted Paul at Strava to ask about this. He thinks the idea
   is a really good one and is hoping to add the functionality we will
   require. He's a bit busy at the moment but is presenting at FOSS4G (in
   September?) and would like to use this as an example of what's possible
   with slide.

So, where does this leave us? Well we're at the same place as NYPL so could
go ahead with adapting the website Tim put up to our needs and then launch
when ready. Or, we could hold off until Paul at Strava is able to add the
functionality we need to the Slide tool.


Also, are folks happy for this to be branded as an OpenHistoricalMap
project? (Chris at NLS is okay with this).


[1] http://buildinginspector.nypl.org/
[2] http://maps.nls.uk/os/london-1890s/index.html
[3] https://github.com/NYPL/map-vectorizer
[4] http://leatherwood.herokuapp.com/
[5] http://labs.strava.com/slide/
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