© 2019 Mengzhen Xiao

Impossible Maps: Create A Web Map

March 24, 2018

 

This week we went through the basics of web map and the history of mapping. After reading "Experimental Geography: From Cultural Production to the Production of Space" by Trevor Paglen, I came up with the idea that building a time-based digital map, which can show the recent photos I took with iPhone.

 

 

Inspired by the reading.

"Experimental Geography: From Cultural Production to the Production of Space", Trevor Paglen


Trevor raised a point that to see our production from a critical geographic perspective, which means to put emphasis on the production process. When talking about space, it doesn't only involve the material surroundings but also includes the production made by human activity. “Humans create the world around them and that humans are, in turn, created by the world around them." said by Trevor. I can't agree more. Inspired by this point, in this week's homework I want to explore how the surroundings affect me, how does my activity influence the space, and how can I reflect this interaction on a digital map.

 

 

 

The difference between Apple's photos map and my map.

The map I made.

Link to the Map

Link to Github

 

 

 Apple Photos Map

 

Apple's photos map works like a photo organization tool, which shows how many photos you have taken at a place and what are they.

 

The map I made is intended to use photos I took in recent days to create a space. The space is produced through my activity, which is taking photos. The popup of each position shows the time, date and the main activity of that photo. Reviewing all the photos according to the timeline, you can have a general view of where I have been and what I have done recently.

 


I use the yellow path to link each photo. Ideally, these paths should be dynamic, generating from one position to the next. But I haven't figure out how to make that effect yet. That will be my next step.

 

 

 

How did I make the map?

I followed the tutorials and documentation on Leaflet. To change the tile layer, I used the online raster tile servers on OpenStreetMap.(https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tile_servers)

 

To get the metadata of each photo, I tried to search for a tutorial on how to get the metadata of the photos on iPhone. I want to get the data from an API or create a JSON file by writing some codes so that I can easily get all the photo's GPS data. I did find some tutorials, but they require Xcode knowledge, which I don't have any. So I ended up with making a CSV file manually with the metadata of the photos and changed it into a JSON file. Then I used the longitude and latitude of each photo from the JSON file to create circles, paths, and popups on the map.

 

This practice helps me go through the basics of making a map with Leaflet, including setting up a Leaflet map and working with markers, polylines, and popups. 

 

 

 

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