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Re: Antietam on the Web waking up ...

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  • Brian Downey
    Hi Todd, Yes, I m using the LoC provided MrSid viewer at home, but not the photoshop plugin. I m a macromedia shop just now :) My approach to optimizing
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 8, 2003
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      Hi Todd,

      Yes, I'm using the LoC provided MrSid viewer at home, but not the
      photoshop plugin. I'm a macromedia shop just now :)

      My approach to "optimizing" these for display on the Web is pretty low
      tech, really. My plan is to create a base map - a bitmap graphic - on
      the order of 500px square, for each of 3 or 4 major sections of the
      battlefield, and overlay vector-graphic symbols for the military units
      and other items of interest. [My first attempt at such a base map, in
      this case of the entire field and with text overlayed, is at
      http://aotw.org/overview.php%5d In Flash I can use these symbols as
      hyperlinks to narratives, unit and leader information, and other
      data-based material. I can also 'animate' the symbols from one time
      frame to the next to better show operations over the course of the
      day. Because most of the presentation uses small vector-mapped objects
      or is coming from the database on-demand, I ought to be able to keep
      the client-side "thin" and load times small. That's the plan, anyway.

      A couple of years ago I would not have seriously considered Flash - I
      was something of an HTML purist - but it looks like most web users
      have the Flash plugin now, and can readily use that kind of display.
      I'm a raw amateur in Flash to this point, however, so this might take
      a while!

      Thanks for asking, tho the rest of the group are probably bored to
      tears ... at the risk of making it worse, what's involved in your
      project? [Perhaps a moderator should step in and recommend we take
      this to email]

      Brian
      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, TR Livesey <tlivesey@w...> wrote:
      > Brian,
      >
      > Are you using any of the Mr.Sid accessory tools in viewing the LOC maps?
      > If you have photoshop, you can download (free) a MrSid plugin, which
      allows
      > you to download the whole map (all 14 of 'em), and then interactively
      > zoom and pan all you like off-line. Very nice set of tools.
      >
      > I have had an on-again/off-again project for taking the Carman-Cope maps
      > and bringing up to date with some new technology. Let me know if you
      > want to 'talk shop'.
      >
      > Regards,
      > TR Livesey
      > tlivesey@w...
      > http://www.westwoodgalleries.com/antietam
      >
    • TR Livesey
      Brian, Very interesting. I m actually working at a level higher--ideas that could be displayable on a web page, or could be a downloadable application, etc.,
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 10, 2003
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        Brian,

        Very interesting.

        I'm actually working at a level higher--ideas that could be displayable
        on a web page, or could be a downloadable application, etc., but
        not specifically targeted for any particular medium. I am increasingly
        looking toward GPS (global positioning systems) applications. For example,
        you could download a map of the battlefield (showing troop positions
        at a certain time) onto your GPS unit, and then 'navigate' yourself
        around points of interest that would not otherwise be visible on
        the modern battlefield.

        What I am doing with the Cope maps is to capture the troop positions
        in terms of geographical coordinates (e.g. latitude & longitude, but
        I'm actually using a different coordinate system that has much finer
        resolution). Once such a database is built up, all kinds of things
        are possible. As is, the Cope maps are arranged chronologically:
        snapshots of troop positions taken at 14 points in time. It might
        be interesting to instead generate a map that shows the various positions
        of a certain unit (or set of units) across the entire day.

        I don't like using the Cope maps themselves as a base map, for
        a variety of reasons. I like to work in layers. There should
        be a layer that contains just the boundaries of the fields &
        features; there should be a layer containing the elevation (contour
        lines or whatever); there should be a layer that contains troop
        positions; a layer of labels and text, etc. For a given need,
        you produce the layers you are interested in. The Cope maps are
        a finished map, so all the layers flattened down, and the results
        can be quite cluttered; you can't get rid of the things you
        don't want to see. For example, it is usually desirable to
        show contour lines at an increment (e.g. every 20 feet, or every
        10 feet, etc.) appropriate for the scale of the map. If the
        increment is too small the lines overlap and overwhelm or obliterate
        the rest of the map. Since the contour lines are actually on
        the Cope map, it is not possible to substitute contours of a different
        increment.

        The other problem with the Cope maps is that they suffer from
        horizontal distortions. If you produced a modern map to the
        same scale and overlaid it and 1 of the Cope maps, you could
        get features close together to line up, but not ones far
        apart (you'd never be able to line up the Smoketown Road
        and Miller's Sawmill road). For an illustration, see
        http://www.westwoodgalleries.com/antietam/antietam/maps/background.html.
        This kind of detail may seem irrelevant for a web page. For
        other applications, however, it is critical. For example, people
        are increasingly starting to employ GPS
        technology to their field work. It would be desirable to be able
        to download these maps to a GPS unit. Because of the Cope
        maps horizontal distortions, it would not be suitable to download
        them to a GPS unit.

        This is not to say I don't like the Cope maps. Actually,
        I have a real set of my own. Not a repro, but an actual
        1904 volume. The thing is huge! You have not experienced
        these beautiful maps until you have browsed through a full
        sized copy.

        I have had for several years a nice, horizontally accurate
        database containing the base Antietam map (field boundaries
        and features as per 1862) and a nice digital 5 foot increment
        contour map. Once I have info on the troop positions, I'll
        be 1 step closer to something interesting.

        I have no experience with Flash. I am leaning more toward Java.
        If you are going to assume that people have the Flash plugin,
        I'd just as well assume they have the Java plugin, which
        is much more useful. If the browser was too confining, I'd
        just move to a download able Java application.

        At first glance, it does seem like we have wildly different
        approaches. Nonetheless, there ought to be a way to find some
        synergy.

        Regards,
        TR Livesey
        tlivesey@...

        Brian Downey wrote:
        >
        > Hi Todd,
        >
        > Yes, I'm using the LoC provided MrSid viewer at home, but not the
        > photoshop plugin. I'm a macromedia shop just now :)
        >
        > My approach to "optimizing" these for display on the Web is pretty low
        > tech, really. My plan is to create a base map - a bitmap graphic - on
        > the order of 500px square, for each of 3 or 4 major sections of the
        > battlefield, and overlay vector-graphic symbols for the military units
        > and other items of interest. [My first attempt at such a base map, in
        > this case of the entire field and with text overlayed, is at
        > http://aotw.org/overview.php%5d In Flash I can use these symbols as
        > hyperlinks to narratives, unit and leader information, and other
        > data-based material. I can also 'animate' the symbols from one time
        > frame to the next to better show operations over the course of the
        > day. Because most of the presentation uses small vector-mapped objects
        > or is coming from the database on-demand, I ought to be able to keep
        > the client-side "thin" and load times small. That's the plan, anyway.
        >
        > A couple of years ago I would not have seriously considered Flash - I
        > was something of an HTML purist - but it looks like most web users
        > have the Flash plugin now, and can readily use that kind of display.
        > I'm a raw amateur in Flash to this point, however, so this might take
        > a while!
        >
        > Thanks for asking, tho the rest of the group are probably bored to
        > tears ... at the risk of making it worse, what's involved in your
        > project? [Perhaps a moderator should step in and recommend we take
        > this to email]
        >
        > Brian
        > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, TR Livesey <tlivesey@w...> wrote:
        > > Brian,
        > >
        > > Are you using any of the Mr.Sid accessory tools in viewing the LOC maps?
        > > If you have photoshop, you can download (free) a MrSid plugin, which
        > allows
        > > you to download the whole map (all 14 of 'em), and then interactively
        > > zoom and pan all you like off-line. Very nice set of tools.
        > >
        > > I have had an on-again/off-again project for taking the Carman-Cope maps
        > > and bringing up to date with some new technology. Let me know if you
        > > want to 'talk shop'.
        > >
        > > Regards,
        > > TR Livesey
        > > tlivesey@w...
        > > http://www.westwoodgalleries.com/antietam
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • Brian Downey
        Dang, Todd - Your project indeed sounds like it has excellent potential for use on the ground. ... displayable ... And yes, I think there might be some
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 12, 2003
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          Dang, Todd -

          Your project indeed sounds like it has excellent potential for use on
          the ground.

          --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, TR Livesey <tlivesey@w...> wrote:
          > Brian,
          >
          > Very interesting.
          >
          > I'm actually working at a level higher--ideas that could be
          displayable ... <snip>

          And yes, I think there might be some common threads between our
          approaches. I'd say our fundamental differences in approach are the
          result of our end-goals, but the two techniques might have some
          shareable elements.

          I'll get back to you by email, if that's ok, rather than bore the rest
          of the group with this topic.

          > This is not to say I don't like the Cope maps. Actually,
          > I have a real set of my own. Not a repro, but an actual
          > 1904 volume. The thing is huge! You have not experienced
          > these beautiful maps until you have browsed through a full
          > sized copy.
          >

          This is fantastic! I'd love to have a copy, but haven't seen one for
          sale yet. How did you come upon yours, if I may ask?

          <more stuff snipped>
          >
          > Regards,
          > TR Livesey
          > tlivesey@w...

          Brian
          email name: bdowney
          at
          domain: aotw.org
        • TR Livesey
          ... Where else? All together class...EBAY!
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 12, 2003
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            Brian Downey wrote:

            > > This is not to say I don't like the Cope maps. Actually,
            > > I have a real set of my own. Not a repro, but an actual
            > > 1904 volume. The thing is huge! You have not experienced
            > > these beautiful maps until you have browsed through a full
            > > sized copy.
            > >
            >
            > This is fantastic! I'd love to have a copy, but haven't seen one for
            > sale yet. How did you come upon yours, if I may ask?
            >

            Where else? All together class...EBAY!
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