The Disappearing Street View

no_streetviewVisitors to the Sonoma Heritage Collections may notice something different — the Google Street/Map View is missing from the record displays. Some time ago, I started to find discrepancies between what was displayed within CONTENTdm and the view in Google Maps using the identical coordinates, but at the time, the difference was a matter of about 100 yards or so. With the newest collection of images, the difference is closer to 70 miles to the southeast. At the moment, I don’t have the time to investigate exactly what the problem is — mostly likely I need to use a newer version of the API — so for the time being, the maps and StreetViews will go missing.

If I can bring back the StreetViews in the near future, I will, and display it differently in the record. The old display automatically opened directly below the photo, which was great for making then and now comparisons, but also tended to get in the way of efficient scrolling down the record (scrolling zooms in Google Maps/StreetView). The new incarnation will be closed by default and users will be able to choose whether to view it or not.

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Preserving Photo Metadata and Other Slow Processes

Konqueror screenshot showing Exif data

Image via Wikipedia

In a group effort among the Cataloging staff, we’ve loaded all the TIFF images on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM to Demeter, our image server. The process of loading some 27,000 images contained on hundreds of discs felt glacially slow, but a mighty push completed the task. The files will all be renamed to conform to a uniform convention, but since we want to preserve the original file name, we’ve  used a tool called ExifTool to write the name into one of the EXIF metadata. This, too, has been a slow process, but we’re done with it except for a set of files with duplicate names that need investigation. Next I’ll use another tool, Bulk Rename Utility to do the renaming.

I’m  concurrently preparing all the MARC records for our photos for conversion to CONTENTdm. This has been another slow process, since there were many discrepancies and missing pieces of data — despite several passes through the records to upgrade them over the past four years. I also spent considerable time geocoding the records when there were readily available addresses embedded. The new geolocation field will allow us to create a Google Maps mashup to display the location below the image and metadata in the CONTENTdm display. I expect to start the next step of conversion to CONTENTdm data fields (a modified Dublin Core scheme) within a week.