A starting point

The following are some of the common tasks that this site can help you with, broken down into bite sized workflows. Use these as a starting, or entry, point to the tools, resources and data held on the site.

We also present two complete case studies where users with quite different aims and backgrounds have successfully used this site to achieve outcomes that may have seemed previously seemed out of their reach.

I have addresses in a spreadsheet, how can I find where those addresses are on the map?

In the Map Builder application you will find a Map Addresses tool that enables you to copy and paste addresses from a spreadsheet, locate them on a map and export the results in Google Earth format.

Note: the process of finding a location from an address is called geocoding. Batch geocoding is when you to find the locations of many addresses in a batch process.

I've mapped my addresses and saved them to my computer. How can I publish the KML file to the web?

Publishing files to the web can seem daunting. Google Sites allows you to easily create and edit web pages. It's a free service and you can upload any type of file and make it available on the Internet.

The following steps illustrate the process of creating a Google Sites account and uploading KML files to it. Once you've completed the simple steps outlined here, you will have a public, personalised web presence for your KML files.

  1. Create a Google account:

    Google Sites accounts are linked to Google accounts. If you have a Google account, log in at http://sites.google.com. If not, go to http://mail.google.com/mail/signup, sign up for one and then go to http://sites.google.com.

    Create new Google Site

  2. Upload your KML

    When you create a Site, your browser will open the site at your home page. If you chose a blank template, it'll be a blank page. In the upper right, you'll see a button that says Create a Page. Click that button. You'll be asked to choose what time of page it is, and to name your page. Choose Web Page for the page type. You could name it something simple like KML Files, or anything you want.

    Once you create the page, you'll be redirected to that page, in edit mode. Click on Attachments at the bottom of the page and then click on the button labelled Choose File. Choose the KML or KMZ file you're going to upload. If you have more files to upload, keep attaching files. Otherwise, click the Save button in the upper right corner.

    That's it, you've now published KML on the web. Anyone can go to the page http://sites.google.com/site/yoursitename/yourpagename and download your files.

    Note: these instructions are based on those given by Mano Marks of the Google Geo Team in an article from June 2010: http://code.google.com/apis/kml/articles/pagesforkml.html.

How can I view my addresses on historic maps?

There are two ways of doing this. The first makes use of Google Earth, an application that you will need to download and install to your computer (http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/earth/). The second method will require you to publish your KML file to the web (see instructions above).

  1. In Google Earth

    Double click on the KML file that you downloaded from the Map Addresses tool in Map Builder. This should launch Google Earth, if installed, and you will see the location points of your addresses.

    Next, go to our map resources page (http://geo.nls.uk/urbhist/resources_maps.html). Find the map you would like to view and click on the KML link. This should open the map in Google Earth. To add more maps repeat this process for the maps you require.

    Each map and KML layer will appear in the Places palette on the left Sidebar. Check or uncheck a layer to turn it on or off.

  2. In Map Builder

    Publish your KML file to the web (using either Google Sites or a web server if you have access to one). In Map Builder open the Add Data tool. Add the name you would like to appear in the Service Name field, select KML/GeoRSS as Service Type, and enter the full URL to the KML file in the Service URL field. Click Add Service to add the layer.

How can I publish my findings?

  1. In a paper or presentation

    You really need a static image of your results to include in a course paper or presentation. Using Google Earth is the probably the best and easiest way of achieving this. Follow the instructions for adding maps and data to Google Earth. Show or hide layers by checking or unchecking them in the Places palette. Once you are happy with the view go to Edit > Copy Image. Paste the image into document or presentation that you would like to include it in.

  2. On the web

    Use our Map Builder customisation tool to create a customised view and set of layers. Follow the instructions for creating a new Map Builder customisation map. Publish your data. Open the Map Builder editing page and add your KML layer using Add Data. Save your edits and follow the instructions for publishing your map. Once published you should see a link to Open in Map Builder. The URL (web address) of this page can be used to link to this map from any other website.

I want to position (georeference) a map. How can I do that?

  1. From a map in the NLS online collection or a map I found on the internet

    See Using the online Georeferencer.

  2. From a scanned map on my computer

    Publish your scanned image to the web using Google Sites or a web server. Note the URL (web address) of your published image and follow the instructions in Option 2 of Using georeferencer.org.

  3. Creating a Zoomable tileset

    Read the Basic geo-referencing workflow in our guides section. Use either ArcGIS (commercial software) or Quantum GIS (open source software) to georeference your scanned image. There are instruction on using both in our guides section.

    Create the tile set using MapTiler (free software ). See Using Maptiler to create a tileset for more detailed instructions on using this software.

    Publish your completed tile set directory on a web server.