Spatial Discovery
Interactive online viewer of historical maps

The project was about developing a web application for publishing a large collection of high-resolution historical maps. It was about ten thousand of images in that collection.

The main idea was to show the historical maps on top of the base map provided by Google. It was required to provide tools for elementary spatial analysis and research such as layer management, transparency control, swiping, spyglass, cutline removal and similar.

The main customer of the application was the National Library Board of Singapore.

The user requirement study started in spring 2015. The final acceptance and commissioning were completed late autumn the same year.

Currently, the application is in production and used intensively.

This project is connected with two other projects I participated in: istream and ImaGeoRef.

Below is the list of what I was doing in the propject:

  • User requirement study. I was talking to the NLB team, analysing and documenting all the requirements. I prepared a few prototypes during that stage.
  • Leading the programming team and core development;
  • Development of the database for the  Microsoft SQL Server DBMS.
  • Development of the backend part of the solution:
    • development of the REST API with  Node.js and Express;
    • integration of the Mapproxy software;
    • usage of the Mapnik, and GDAL libraries;
    • integration with internal services of the NLB;
  • Development of the public frontend with Backbone.js, Marionette.js and OpenLayers.
  • Development of the administrative console application with  Sencha ExtJS 6;
  • Deployment of the solution on the servers running  CentOS 6.

Below are a few illustrations to give you a visual impression of the web application.

Main screen
Historical map added to the base map
Swipe tool
Presentation mode
Multiple historical maps and swipe tool
Historical map details
Full-size view
Sharing of the historical map
Swipe tool
Another georeferenced historical map
Historical map full view
Historical map in presentation mode
Another georeferenced historical map with details
Georeferenced historical map with details and swipe tool
Georeferenced historical map with details
Historical map with swipe tool
Multiple overlayed historical maps
Historical map with details and swipe tool
Another historical map
Another historical map