Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Here Be Sea Monsters

Olaus Magnus's Carta Marina is the the first detailed map of the Nordic countries which includes place-names. It is perhaps best known, however, for its wonderful depictions of fantastic and fearsome sea monsters.

These wondrous sea creatures are identified in brief on the Carta Marina in the map key. However I recently discovered that Olaus Magnus provided much more detailed descriptions of these sea monsters in his encyclopedic volume 'A Description of the Northern Peoples'. A whole section of this voluminous book is given to the 'Monstrous Fishes of the Norway Ocean'. In this section 50 chapters are spent describing the marine life of the Scandinavian seas. Some of the most incredible sea monsters in these chapters are the very same creatures depicted on the Carta Marina.

I have created a story map Here Be Serpents & Sea Cows which matches up the fantastical sea monsters depicted on the Carta Marina with their full descriptions as given by Olaus Magnus in his 'A Description of the Northern Peoples'. As you scroll through Here Be Serpents & Sea Cows the map will automatically zoom in on the different sea monsters and provide you with Magnus's full description.

At the heart of Here Be Serpents & Sea Cows is the leaflet-iiif plug-in for the Leaflet mapping platform. Museums and art galleries around the world use the iiif format to present artworks and maps as zoomable images. The leaflet-iiif plugin allows you to use these iiif manifests with the Leaflet mapping platform. This means that you can create a Leaflet map from any image which has a iiif manifest.

In Here Be Serpents I have also used the waypoints JavaScript library in my presentation of the Carta Marina. Waypoints is used to control the scrollytelling elements. The Waypoints library is used to trigger the map actions as the reader scrolls to different elements in the sidebar text.

If you want to clone my Here Be Serpents map you can do so on the Here Be Serpents Glitch page.

No comments: