Frequently Updated Maps for Public Display

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The public display of maps is important to demonstrate the value of maps to convey spatial patterns. Frequently Updated Maps (FUMs), such as those depicting weather, lend themselves well for this purpose because the mapped patterns are constantly changing. Maps of earthquakes, air pollution, and health factors may also be used. These pages demontrate different types of map displays that can be implemented through Google's Chrome browser.

The HTML code that continuously displays a series of maps is explained below. The individual maps can easily be changed by substituting a different address of a jpg, png, gif, or svg file. A number of different examples of maps for public viewing are included on the following pages.

All that is needed to implement a public display of maps is a dedicated computer. This could be an older computer or a $50 Raspberry Pi. The procedure for setting-up a Pi as a continuous automated map display is also explained.

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All of the above displays are based on the same HTML code. The only difference are the references to the images in two different locations as shown the on the right. Notice that the addresses of the images are identical between the top and bottom code segments.

In the top code, the width of the images can be adjusted to zoom into the area of interest.

To display of another series of images, download the code from any of the examples above and change the addresses of the images shown in the two areas at right. Also, either match the width of the images to the monitor using 100% or zoom to a particular area of interest by using a larger number than the width of the image.


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continuous Display

Google's Chrome browser can be automatically started in full-screen mode. This is done by setting Chrome in Preferences to continue "where it left-off" (see screenshot at left top).

Full-screen mode is implemented in the view menu (see screenshot at left bottom).

These settings will perpetually displ;ay the images, even after Chrome is restarted. If restarting the computer, Chrome must be set to open at startup. On a Mac, this is done using the Login Items tab under the Users and Groups System Preference. In Windows, in the Start button, select Settings > Apps > Startup. Turn on Google Chrome to run at startup. The procedure for a Raspberry Pi is explained in the last tab.

Both the computer and monitor can be attached to a timer to control when they turn on and off.




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A display consisting of six computers outside the Department of Geography / Geology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Maps have been continuously displayed here since 1998 using with older Apple Macintosh computers.

All but one of the computers are now inexpensive, low-energy Raspberry Pi computers.