Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Cork in 3D

Cork Guide has released a mapped guide to Ireland's third largest city. This bird's eye view interactive map provides an interesting categorized guide to the city and its major points of interest, hotels & heritage bars.

At the heart of the Cork Guide is an oblique map of the city showing the city's buildings in 3D. The 3D map is a little bit of a cheat as an interactive 3D map as it is built on an image map rather than from vector map tiles. Using a static image of the city as the map means that more details on the buildings aren't revealed as you zoom in on the map. As the map image of the city doesn't have any map labels it also means that there aren't any road names displayed on the map, even at the highest zoom levels.

However the map is still interactive and you can click on areas of the city to discover more about Cork, its history and places to visit in the city. The map information windows also include links to OpenStreetMap, which means that if you decide to visit somewhere you discover on the map you can get the address details (and road names) you need from OSM.

The main advantage of the image map library developed for the city guide is that it can also be used for building plans. If you click on the Cork Public Museum link you can view the library has been used to create a floor map for the museum. Again an oblique bird's eye view is used, this time showing a roofless plan of the museum. Click on the individual rooms in the museum plan and you can find out more about what you will find in that exhibition space. This is a much better use of the Cork Guide static image mapping library.

If I was developing the Cork Guide going forward I would restrict the use of the static image map library for creating interactive building plans for major buildings in the city. I would then look to replace the main mapped guide to the city using an established 3D mapping platform such as OSM Buildings.

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