Mapping the library

== Description ==
To create interactive floorplans for a library. Make it possible to show the location of a particular book in the library. Also picking up on Idea #14 from Mash Oop North:

Idea #14 – Amy Hadfield (University of Aberystwyth)…
To combine usage statistics of books with floor plans to highlight areas of high usage helping collection development and also library design.

(see [[Menu suggestions]])

There is now a blog post on our progress towards this project at Middlemash

I’ve now done an example of a floorplan in a Google Maps interface with 3 levels of zoom at

== Contributors ==
Owen Stephens ([ @ostephens])
== Notes/Ideas ==
Thought we could use Google Maps and create a custom map. Basically we’ll need some floorplans in a graphic file format (e.g. jpg), which we can chop up into what Google Maps calls ‘Tiles’ – we can then put these together as a map. There’s some info on doing this at Also from Google this seems to be the most useful information

[Why google maps and not mapstraction/openlayers? ( – compatible with google and yahoo maps; [[User:Navtis|Navtis]] 11:41, 29 November 2009 (UTC)]

You can see the type of thing at – but I think we can do a better job than this!

Cutting the image into tiles seems like a bit of a pain. It looks like you can use Photoshop, and there are some other useful sites:

One of the problems is that all these tools seem to assume you are doing a map that will overlay a real map somehow – which seems to add additional complexity that we probably don’t need?

[What about leveraging the openstreetmap tools and creating a full scale map server which just serves up library maps? (or perhaps both library maps and campus maps). Problem is how to generate the osm tiles. Use josm and draw them? Some conversion tool jpg -> osm format? Off to find out what there is… (guess this is too much for an afternoon, but just got interested in this idea) [[User:Navtis|Navtis]] 11:49, 29 November 2009 (UTC) ]

I’ve been playing around with MapTiler – this is a tile creation tool but also does some really nifty stuff – like create some basic html/javascript to display the ‘map’ as well. It includes an option to simply use an Image, rather than tying the image to a geographic location (which was an assumption most other tools I’ve used seemed to make). With some struggle I got a GMaps version working (MapTiler doesn’t have full support for this yet). However an OpenLayers version worked straight out of the box – I got all the images created and an html page with the zoom and navigation set already – very easy and worth looking at.

== What we need and need to do ==
* Get some JPGs of some library floorplans with shelving marked – can anyone contribute these – doesn’t really matter whose library it is for Proof of Concept, so something relatively clear would be good. On the other hand a real example could be even better!
* Use a ’tile cutter’ to cut the jpg into equally sized square graphics
* Create custom map which uses these ’tiles’
* Get coordinates for each shelf unit on the map (to the level of detail we want)
* Work out way of linking coordinates/shelf units to shelfmarks/classmarks
* Work out how to pass either shelfmark or coordinates to custom map so the location of a book can be shown
* If we get really ambitious, investigate if there is a way of doing a ‘heat’ map overlay which shows the shelf units that are most used based on usage stats linked to shelfmark ranges

== Some requirements ==

Developed by the people at the MiddleMash event. 1 suggestion each unless more shown. [[User:Navtis|Navtis]] 15:41, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

=== a. Developer requirements ===

* minimize new coding (use libraries)
* General purpose – framework for any library
* linked to OPAC, returns in OPAC search results

=== bi. User requirements (Patrons) ===

* Show me all locations of the book I’m looking for (3 votes)
* Show me subject area of the book of the book I’m looking for, if it is out (4 votes)
* I have multiple books to get. Show me the route between them
* Display non-stock items (fire escapes, stairs, help desk, PCs) (2 votes)
* Can zoom in or out (2 votes)
** Clarification requested: What is the finest level of detail required?
* handles multiple floors (2 votes)
* flag up special cases (quartos, bespoke collections, closed-source collections)
* Cope with 18 libraries and 1 OPAC

Something inspired by this blog post from Tony Hirst
* ability to drop personal markers onto the map – both for sharing locations (e.g. I’m studying here if you need me) and for reminders (this is where I found x last time)

See also Tony Hirst blogpost at on a mobile app requirement

=== bii. User requirements (Staff) ===

* Show all new books by department (or other acquisition unit)
* Show weeders which areas to work in (ie ability to highlight areas on request)
* Easy to input location changes without coding (3 votes)
* Show librarians most requested/most heavily used areas
* Link to shelf-ending
* Easy to update when stock is moved (including batch updates)

== Examples ==
Some examples of libraries with maps/floor plans on the catalogue.

=== Brunel University ===
SirsiDynix Symphony catalogue at Plans added based on Canterbury’s implementation (with thanks): perl script taking location and classmark from item record and passing to html page overlaying circle on map (just gif images on library server). The same floor plans are also displayed in the Library but some detail was removed for the opac; only general location of item identified as stock moves around *a lot*.

=== Canterbury Christchurch University ===
Ex Libris catalogue at

More info here:

=== McGill University ===
Ex Libris “classic” catalogue at

=== Wayne State University ===
Millenium “classic” catalog at

More info here:

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