Hacking the David Rumsey Center (Part 2)

Revolution annuelle de la terre autour du soleil. Compose et dessine par H Nicollet. Le texte de les fig. suppl. par E. Soulier. Paris, publie par J. Andriveau-Goujon, Rue du Bac, no. 17, 1850.

About this series

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, that I presented in my "Hacking Rumsey" talk, presented at the opening events for The David Rumsey Map Center, at Stanford University Library.

We're starting small, with the easiest tools (like the David Rumsey Map Collection MapTab Chrome Browser Plug-in, which I covered in a previous post) 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.


This week, I'd like to introduce you to a new piece of open source software, developed by Stanford University Library's Digital Library Systems and Service group. Spotlight "enables librarians, curators, and others who are responsible for digital collections to create attractive, feature-rich websites that highlight these collections."

A Universe of Maps

As part of the events surrounding the opening of the David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford University Library curators and staff have created the first of exhibit for the center, "A Universe of Maps - Opening the David Rumsey Map Center." The exhibit exists as a companion to the physical exhibits, on display until August 28, 2016, at Stanford University Green Library's Peterson Gallery, Munger Rotunda and the David Rumsey Map Center"

Spotlight makes use of "embed viewers" to provide feature-rich viewing of very high resolution images of objects from Stanford University Library collections. One of the coolest features of the embed viewers is that you can embed them in your own webpages and blog postings. 

Using Spotlight's Embed Viewer

  1. Navigate to the A Universe of Maps - Opening the David Rumsey Map Center Spotlight exhibit.
  2. In the Navigation Menu on the left side of the page, click on the link for "The Mississippi."
  3. Of course, pause to appreciate the descriptive text and metadata that has been included with each of the images, focusing, finally, upon the first image of Coloney & Fairchild's "Ribbon Map of the Father of Waters."
  4. Click on the image of the Coloney & Fairchild ribbon map to navigate to it's PURL page. Remember from Part 1 of this series that the PURL is the Persistent URL at which this digital resource will always be available.

  5. Notice that the PURL page contains an "embed viewer" with a zoomable version of the digital image of the ribbon map. Also note that the icons at the bottom of the embed viewer provide you with access to basic metadata, download options, and the ability to copy embed code.

    Embed viewer options
  6. Click on the Embed icon at the bottom of the embed viewer. Notice that you have the ability to toggle the options and hide the "action icons" in your resulting embed.
    Embed Code Options
  7. Highlight the text in the code window and copy it to your clipboard.

    Embed Code Options

    You have several options, at this point. I'll demonstrate how to use the embed code in a blog post, but you could just as easily paste the embed code into a bespoke HTML page in your AFS space or on your own web server.

  8. Open a new post editor in your blog platform. There should be some way to switch between WYSIWYG and HTML mode.
  9. Change to HTML mode and paste your copied embed text into the editor window.

    Paste Embed Code

  10. Save your changes and you should be able to preview the results in the page.

    Publish BLog

Note that the embed viewer in your blog post has the same action icons and functionality as the original on the PURL page.


     Embed Options

Additional Notes

Note also that you can customize the width and height parameters in the embed code to properly fit the embed to your particular page.

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