Monday, May 05, 2014

The map is not the territory, it's a painting

StoryMap JS is a great library for creating narrative maps. If you want to tell a story with a map or want to map a chronological sequence of events then StoryMap JS provides a great framework on which to hang your tale.

StoryMap JS doesn't only work with map tiles it also works great with paintings, photos or other images. StoryMap for Images provides a great example map created from Georges Seurat's 'A Sunday on La Grande Jatte'.

The StoryMap of A Sunday on La Grande Jatte uses a gigapixel image of the painting and essentially turns it into an interactive map. This enables StoryMap to place markers on the painting and for users to pan, zoom and interact with the painting as they would with a normal interactive map.

The markers on the map can be clicked on to view details in the painting and to view an explanation of Seurat's post-impressionistic style and subject matter.

The Garden of Earthly Delights is another gigapixel map created with StoryMap. This map of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych explores Bosch's use of color, symbolism and the meaning of Bosch's depiction of Heaven and Hell.

As with the Seurat example you can zoom and pan the painting and you can click on the map markers to view an explanation of some of the details within the painting.

The Metapanoramas Project is an amazing experiment that uses the Google Maps API to create 360° degree Street View paintings. It is a project which, in the words of the artist, "expands the two-dimensional limits of traditional painting".

The viewer of the artwork is not limited to a static view of the painting. The paintings can be explored as you would explore a Google Maps Street View. You can pan around 360° degrees, you can pan up and view the sky and you can pan down to view the ground. Amazing!

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