April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Workshops: Description

Using the Microsoft Virtual Earth API to provide Geographical Access to Cultural Heritage

John O'Brien, Soul Solutions, Australia

Online mapping environments allow us to visually experience the geographical density and sparseness across the planet earth. Competing technologies from Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth are providing a cheap yet incredibly powerful Application Programming Interface for developers to utilise in custom applications. Commercialised applications in the form of Real Estate, store locators and tracking applications are dominating this market and pushing the technology forward to new levels. Today we are have the capability to provide a seamless 2D and 3D virtual earth hosted service with low, if not free, licensing costs.

In this half-day Workshop, we will explore the process of geo-coding a physical location into a Latitude and Longitude co-ordinate for plotting on the map, what technologies are available and their limitations. We will provide an indicator for you to evaluate the effort require for your collection. We will look at what provides an effect visual spatial search and how traditional filters like date-ranges and categories are enhanced within this interface. We will explore the complexity and performance issues of large collections plotted on a web-based map. We demonstrate a clustering technique used to provide a seamless on-demand experience utilising AJAX to minimise bandwidth.

Finally we will provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to integrate this technology into your website. This includes how to evaluate your data, the data structure changes required, the geo-coding process, hosting your data, effective interfaces, tuning for performance, licensing cost and integration with your current site.

Workshop: Virtual Earth [Afternoon]

Keywords: Online Collections, Virtual Earth, Spatial Search, Geo-coding, AJAX, 3D