Hacking the David Rumsey Map Center (Part 1)

May 27, 2016
Mr. Stace D Maples
The David Rumsey Map Collection Chrome Browser plug-in

About this series

As part of the opening events for The David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford's Green Library I recently gave a talk about the various ways you can "hack" the David Rumsey Map Collection. I showed how you can make use of the David Rumsey Map Collection using a variety of Stanford University Library resources and services.

Over the next few weeks I will post a series of brief step-by-step "how-to" tutorials on making use of digital resources from the David Rumsey Map Center and Collection. For the most part, I will be highlighting the resources I presented in my talk.

One of the main things I'd like to highlight is the fact that Stanford Library's DLSS group doesn't just use the software that runs the Stanford Library and it's digital collections and services... they write that software! Open source software tools developed and maintained in-house (and collaboratively with many other research libraries, museums and cultural institutions) are the core of Stanford Library's Digital infrastructure.

This series will explore some of these tools, and other SUL resources, that make it easier to find, use and share the David Rumsey Map Center's materials. We'll start small, with the easiest tools that appeal to the most people, first. Eventually we will work our way up through more complex use of the collections and tools available from The Stanford University Library.

The David Rumsey Map Collection Chrome Browser plug-in

The David Rumsey Map Collection Chrome Browser plug-in

The David Rumsey Map Collection Chrome Browser Plug-in is an extension for viewing the current date and time with a random map from the David Rumsey Map Collection every time you open a new tab. The plug-in allows you to view and explore (through built-in map panning and zoom tools) Rumsey's amazing collection of maps by just opening up your browser.

Installing the plug-in

Chrome Web Store

  1. First, you need to have installed the Chrome Browser, from Google. You can get it here.
  2. Next, go to the Chrome Web Store and search for 'Rumsey' (or just click this link).
  3. In the search results, click on the David Rumsey Map Collection - MapTab entry
  4. Click on the 'Add to Chrome' button Chrome Web Store to install the plug-in.

Using the plug-in

  1. Once the plug-in has been installed, you can simply open a new browse tab (Control-T in Windows, Command-T on a Mac), and enjoy a random map from the collection.
  2. Click on the 'View at Stanford to Download' icon Open PURL Page to open the PURL page for the current map and see options for downloading, embedding and accessing the complete metadata for the item.
  3. Use the Zoom icons Zoom tool to zoom in and out, and simply drag the image with your mouse to pan the map.
  4. Click on your Chrome Browser 'Refresh Button' to load a new, random item from the collection.

A few more notes:

Not all of the items you see in the plug-in will necessarily be maps. This plug-in grabs random images from The David Rumsey Map Collection, which also includes digitized atlas pages, covers, and other items that may or may not be, specifically, cartographic in nature.

The David Rumsey Map Collection Chrome Plug-in was created by Jack Reed, Developer, Stanford University Library's Digital Libraries Systems and Services. Drop him a note on Twitter @mejackreed to tell him how much you like the plug-in and don't forget to rate it in the Chrome Web Store!

Watch for more entries in this series in the weeks to come!