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Stanczyk, was talking about the interactive 16th century map of Polish Crown-Lands the last blog article.
We were talking specifically about a zoomed in search of Pacanów:
Now the last article mentioned:
- zoom / scale tool (lower left)
- search box (upper left which is closeable )
- map features like the square box being the parish, etc.
In this article I want to talk about a few more user interface / user experience (UX) elements:
- panel, with tabs [far right]
- tab, check boxes (for more details) [far right]
- “Materials” menu [upper right]
Here is the image (clickable) I will be addressing:
The place name search box has been hidden so we can see more of the map under the search box.
For the toolbar we find the following icons (top to bottom):
Show/Hide Panel (to show hide the layers/legend tabs), max zoom-out, previous map, next map, zoom at selection, zoom-in, zoom-out, pan, info on selected map object, select rectangluar region to zoom in on, tool tip, measure (distance, area), query editor, refresh map. Now I want to emphasize a few of the toolbar tools. Just hover over a toolbar icon to see the name of each tool. Click on an icon to select the desired tool (before interacting with the map).
The Show/Hide Panel tool at the top is to show or to hide the right-most area known as the Layers/Legend Panel (that contains the two tabs, “Layers” & “Legends”. This is again a way to show more of the map. I also like the Measure tool. The measure tool allows you to draw either a line or a polygon shape. Drawing a line will give you the distance between two points. Drawing a polygon will give you total area and the length around the polygon edges. To draw a line click on measure tool (3rd from bottom) and drag your mouse to the second location and double-click (to end line drawing). So if you select the measure tool you will see an info box in lower right corner of your screen that gives the distance/area. So if you click on Pacanów and double-click on Biechów, the distance shown should be approximately 7 km (roughly 4.2 miles) between my grandfather’s village and my grandmother’s village. You can clear the distance info in the bottom corner and redraw your line(s) as necessary. The Pan tool (shown as a hand) is necessary to drag the map up or down or right or left to pan the map. You need to click on the pan tool before trying to move the map (or you will be doing whatever the last selected tool was). The last tool I wanted to mention is the, Tool Tip tool. The tool tip is a very nice tool that provides info on a village as you hover over its square/dot).
Panel / Tabs / Checkboxes
The Panel is the right-most part of the map and you can toggle on or off the showing of the panel via the top tool in the toolbar. There are five layers for this 16th century map available (from the underlying data). The panel has two tabs, “Layers” and “Legend”.
Each layer has a box with a ‘+’ in it that you click on to expand (the box then contains a ‘-‘ which you click on to close). For this article we are only interested in “Ecclesiastical Borders”. This layer allows us to show the checkboxes for the boundaries for a parish or a deaconate (aka deanery) or a diocese. The two that can be most helpful for studying your ancestors are the parish boundary and/or the deaconate boundary. In the above map, I checked both parish and deaconate boundaries. Now keep in mind that these church boundaries are the way they were back in the 16th century and not for the current times and in most cases also do not match the 18th/19th centuries either. These borders can point out the relationship between nearby parishes and also show which set of villages make up a parish. Both of these visual clues are helpful to the genealogical researcher.
The checkboxes when checked show the boundary and when unchecked do not display the boundaries.
The Materials Menu is near the upper right corner (above the map area) and it allows you to switch between collections whose data are map based. It shows the same map but the layers change to show the new details that can be displayed through the user interface.
I particularly found the “Libraries of Wislica”, “Protestant Communites 16th-18th centuries”, and “Religions / Confessions 18th century” to be VERY interesting !
Now using the Layers tab and the Info tool can be most useful. The objects on these maps open up rows of data via the info tool to show a lot of useful material that you must see to believe. This is one of the best uses of a spatial (i.e. map) user interface that I have yet seen. It may take some time to master the user interface, but I assure it is worth it if you want to go much deeper in your understanding of your family history in Poland. If you are looking for old synagogues or to find minority religious denominations that are uncommon this site is a treasure trove of help.