Monday, June 01, 2020

The 9.24 to Watford Junction

You can now explore the 1947 train timetable for the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company in more detail than ever before. The London Midland & Scottish Railway Company timetable for certain suburban services June 16th to October 5th, inclusive, 1947 uses the Leaflet.js mapping library to allow you to zoom in on every single line on the 432 pages of this vintage UK train timetable.

Putting all jokes about trainspotting and trainspotters aside this is a really good example of how the Leaflet mapping library can be used to create a functioning image viewer. While everyone may not share the Image Viewer's esoteric interest in historical train timetables most people can surely appreciate that this is a superb way to browse and read digitized historical documents.

One of the great advantages of flexible JavaScript mapping libraries like Leaflet.js is that they can be used to create far more than just interactive maps. By swapping map tiles for your own image tiles, you can quickly create an impressive interactive interface for viewing digitized images.

Another fantastic example of Leaflet being used as an image viewer is in this presentation of a painting by El Greco. The Minneapolis Institute of Art has used Leaflet.js to provide an interface to view works of art in its extensive collection. This Leaflet map of Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple allows you to examine El Greco's painting in all its stunning detail.

British photographer Levon Biss also used the Leaflet mapping library to present a series of photos in his Microsculpture project. Microsculpture allows you to view high resolution photos of insect specimens from Oxford University Museum of Natural History up close and in fine detail as Leaflet maps. Using the zoom controls you can zoom in on the incredible detail captured by Biss's high resolution insect photos.

The Getty Museum has also used Leaflet to provide a way of exploring the beautiful designs which can be found in Roman mosaics. The Getty's Roman Mosaics website includes a Leaflet map showing the original locations of the Roman mosaics in its collections. Leaflet wasn't used just for the map. If you click through on the links provided in each mosaic's marker on the map you can actually explore the mosaics themselves using an individual Leaflet image viewer.

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