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MSCL Map?

Posted: Mar 12th 2003, 10:00 am
by Nostradamus
Something I've been wondering about... is there a way we could have a world map with markers to show the approximate spread of the MSCL fanbase?

I have seen this done once before, here, though that example suffers from poor resolution and a 100 "pin" limit.

Anyway, 'tis not a big deal, just thought I'd mention it...

:?:

Posted: Mar 12th 2003, 10:49 am
by mglenn
If you guys/girls can find a fairly high resolution map of the world I could make a java applet that did such a thing.

Posted: Mar 12th 2003, 1:30 pm
by starbug
That's such a cool idea - I think it would be a really positive addition to the website.
:)

Posted: Mar 12th 2003, 1:42 pm
by lance
starbug wrote:That's such a cool idea - I think it would be a really positive addition to the website.
:)
That is a tremendous idea!

Nostradaumus, mglenn please keep us posted on how this develops.

Wow, this community is just chock full of incredibly insightful people.

Best,

Lance Man

Posted: Mar 13th 2003, 5:51 am
by starbug
I had a look round the web for some maps, but I can't seem to find one that is good enough for us. hehe. Will keep trawling, but would it be possible to scan a paper version of one in and put it on the web :?: this is a complete technical guess, but surely that should be possible...

Posted: Mar 13th 2003, 7:18 am
by Nostradamus
Thanks to everyone, especially Mike, for the encouraging responses. :)

I have been looking at the map downloads at the National Geographic website; will know more later. Does anyone know if there could be copyright issues with our use of someone else's map on a public site? NG had several maps available for free download, but they may have been intended for private viewing only.

BTW, I am guessing that we are looking for a fairly simple political atlas style of map, with country names and borders, and maybe the larger cities and rivers. Of course, if we can get a more detailed map, perhaps with a zoom feature, that'd be great, but it's not really a must. Likewise, topos and satellite maps can be fun, but for our purposes they may have too much visual "clutter" for the markers. Also, we might do well to use the "flat" type of projection (sorry, I don't know the technical term) so that places like Alaska and Australia don't get warped into the extreme corners.

Posted: Mar 13th 2003, 9:43 am
by starbug
Yeah, I think there might be copyright issues... hadn't thought of that. so how did the Daria website get around that, and can we do the same thing as them?

A 'flat' projection is probably best, and I agree a simple basic up-to-date political map is best. My problem is finding one that's big enough. I think it needs to be a whole page. I'm guessing you can stretch and fiddle with the image in order to make it fit...
:idea: then what we'd have is a new map, copyright owned by whoever stretched it or adjusted it in any way... and especially once you've put the pins in it in an original manner.

:)

Posted: Mar 13th 2003, 10:34 am
by Sascha (sab)
That's an interesting idea!

I like the concept of http://www.geourl.com , where you enter your latitude/longitude coordinates and it's gets displayed as a small dot on a map (and lots of other nice features). It uses no Java, but has clickable maps.

It's based on work by Dan Egnor, who uses some data from the US Census Bureau.

I didn't have the time yet to look further into it (or download some code), maybe some of you could check the following URLs and try to find out if there's something we could use - or how it works :-).

http://www.geourl.com
http://ofb.net/~egnor/google.html
http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/index.html
http://www.census.gov/geo/www/maps/
http://p2pmap.org/ and especially all the links on http://p2pmap.org/references/references.html

Posted: Mar 14th 2003, 9:15 am
by Nostradamus
starbug wrote:Yeah, I think there might be copyright issues... hadn't thought of that. so how did the Daria website get around that, and can we do the same thing as them?
The Daria site used Bravenet.com's GuestMap. The service is provided free with Bravenet membership, but it comes with third-party popup ads which, besides being annoying, may interfere with MSCL.com's not-for-profit status.
A 'flat' projection is probably best, and I agree a simple basic up-to-date political map is best. My problem is finding one that's big enough. I think it needs to be a whole page. I'm guessing you can stretch and fiddle with the image in order to make it fit...
... Or you could use a page-size world map with a zoom feature to get more detail on any one section. This is how Bravenet did it, albeit with chunky resolution on the zooms.
:idea: then what we'd have is a new map, copyright owned by whoever stretched it or adjusted it in any way... and especially once you've put the pins in it in an original manner.

:)
After reading the MSCL.com Disclaimer, the copyright issues may not be as bad as I thought. As I understand it, MSCL.com, which is not an "official" site, can legally use many copyrighted images, sounds, etc without permission because it gives proper attribution and it does not make any money from them. I'm not a lawyer, but maybe it would work the same with these maps? Just have a line underneath like "Map provided by XYZ".

Sascha: I concur, the "geourl" concept is a good one. Did you see the globe concept? It's an interesting alternative to the "flat" maps I mentioned earlier, though it limits you to viewing only half of the world at a time. Maybe two globes, showing both hemispheres simultaneously? Bearing in mind, I have no idea how difficult to implement any of these ideas really are, so feel free to give me a reality check at any time. :wink:

That p2pmap references list was huge! I'm sure there are some useful links there, but I'm afraid most of them are over my head tech-wise.

:)

Posted: Mar 16th 2003, 9:31 am
by Sascha (sab)
Yeah, there are a lot of resources on these webpages :shock: There's so much stuff, but nothing one can actually use for a simple system - or at least I couldn't find anything after digging though most of it now :-( Everything seems to be overkill --- huge applications for geographical analysis etc.

Basically I was looking for a set of simple maps/images of the world/continents like geourl uses. But the problem is: There has to be a way to connect any point/pixel on the image to its real latitude/longtitude coordinates. I'm sure somewhere exist such exact world images accompanied with an algorithm to calculate the real world coordinates from the image coordinates. I couldn't find any maps which provide this additional data yet. But I'll continue searching.

Posted: Mar 16th 2003, 10:46 am
by Sascha (sab)
Hah! I found something :-). Good old NASA.

Some brilliant images of the world are available here: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/
(These are the same images geourl uses)

They are based on data from MODIS ( http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ ).

At ftp://gloria2-f.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/stockli/ are additional imagesets/datasets - "all datasets are in the regular lat-lon grid with a grid spacing of 0.008333 degrees per pixel" (from the readme). Theres also the mention of "1km per pixel".

ftp://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/Data_Sets/ has additional data, but I guess they are overkill for our needs.

I can't download the images / datasets from home (too big for my internet connection), but I'll take a look at the data next week when I'm at the University and I'll test whether that grid spacing is really usable. Writing a small script which gets latitude/longtitude input data from MSCL fans and marks the position with a red dot on the earth maps (of course resizing them before), should be doable with PHP and the GD libraries. I'll see whether I have time to do that in the next weeks. Maybe Mike can write a nifty Java applet on top of that.

work

Posted: Mar 16th 2003, 2:14 pm
by lance
sab wrote:Hah! I found something :-). Good old NASA.

Some brilliant images of the world are available here: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/
(These are the same images geourl uses)

They are based on data from MODIS ( http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ ).

At ftp://gloria2-f.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/stockli/ are additional imagesets/datasets - "all datasets are in the regular lat-lon grid with a grid spacing of 0.008333 degrees per pixel" (from the readme). Theres also the mention of "1km per pixel".

ftp://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/Data_Sets/ has additional data, but I guess they are overkill for our needs.

I can't download the images / datasets from home (too big for my internet connection), but I'll take a look at the data next week when I'm at the University and I'll test whether that grid spacing is really usable. Writing a small script which gets latitude/longtitude input data from MSCL fans and marks the position with a red dot on the earth maps (of course resizing them before), should be doable with PHP and the GD libraries. I'll see whether I have time to do that in the next weeks. Maybe Mike can write a nifty Java applet on top of that.
Very Cool,

Thanks Sascha for all your hard work.

Lance Man

Posted: Apr 9th 2003, 6:40 am
by Sascha (sab)
Just a quick status message: I didn't forget about this one, I'm just drowning in work at the moment.

Beta version online

Posted: Jul 26th 2003, 1:01 pm
by Sascha (sab)
Did take a day off from working on my thesis, and decided to do some fun stuff. Being a geek that means playing with PHP... :?

Anyway, I created a "proof of concept" script at http://www.mscl.com/threerivers/fans.phtml which does the following: It detects your IP address and tries to figure out where you are. You can then save your data in our database and your location will be marked with a tiny little dot on the world map. That's it.

I know this script is very basic, there's almost no error checking, you cannot edit your data (well, I can by editing your recordset in the database), entering your loaction by latitude/longitude is difficult and a higher resolution of the map would be a good idea. I already have bigger maps, but my goal right now was to make it work somehow. I don't know when I'll have time to work some more on it. Anyway, feel free to enter your data, I'll clean the database from time to time from erroneous entries.

If you want to enter your location exactly, I recommend getting the data from http://www.maporama.com/share/ . Important: The script needs the decimal latitude/longitude data, not degrees/minutes/seconds(° ').


Try it out :-)

Image

Posted: Jul 26th 2003, 2:19 pm
by fnordboy
When you click on the link all that comes up is: Error [3] No Match