Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Not the King of the Castle Map

Historic UK has an interactive map of Castles in England. The map appears to be a very comprehensive collection of the locations of English castles. The map also includes useful information about each of the featured castles. Other than that it is a pretty hopeless map.

The map uses the Google Maps API which means it does have the advantage of good aerial imagery of each castle. This enables you to zoom in and see any of the castles using the Google Maps aerial imagery. This also pretty quickly highlights one of the problems with the map. Manually zooming in on individual castles and then back out to see all the castles soon becomes tiresome. This could be partly avoided by adding a 'reset' button to automatically zoom and pan the map back to a zoom level that shows the whole country.

Another problem with this map is the lack of a search facility. This makes finding individual castles difficult if you don't already know their location on the map. Castles in England already has a great alphabetized list of the castles shown on the map. You should be able to click on the castles in this list to see the castle on the map. In fact clicking on a castle in this list should even pan and zoom the map to show a close-up view of the selected castle. This would definitely help users who are tired of having to zoom in and out on the map manually.

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