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published: March 2004
Integrating Databases with Maps: the Delivery of Cultural
Data through TimeMap
TimeMap is a unique integration of database management, metadata and interactive maps, designed to contextualise and deliver cultural data through maps. TimeMap extends conventional maps with the time dimension, creating and animating maps on-the-fly; delivers them as a kiosk application or embedded in Web pages; links flexibly to detailed content in Web pages and databases; connects to a wide variety of data sources, including textual databases and scanned historical maps, situated anywhere on the Internet; and allows locational data to be captured in a Web browser.This paper presents an overview of TimeMap, focusing on the flexible data model and metadata-based methodology which allow TimeMap to integrate seamlessly with existing databases and fulfil a wide range of application needs from museum kiosk to digital cultural atlas. Example applications include the Sydney TimeMap museum kiosk, MacquarieNet on-line encyclopaedia, Fairfield multicultural tourism Web site, UNESCO World Heritage Sites database, and a map animation of the Khmer Empire.
The paper also addresses some of the issues in handling complex datasets effectively on low bandwidth connections, and shows how TimeMap has addressed these through on-demand data loading, server-side filtering, dynamic map legends and dynamically constructed hotlinks.