The British Library Georeferencer: new 2800 maps!

In these days you have the unique opportunity to get involved and help the British Library to georeference new digitized maps, which were selected for scanning and online publishing recently.

Nearly 2800 maps are now available online and waiting for georeferencing. It is really easy process.

See this video:

and start at:  http://www.bl.uk/maps/

This release has implemented new functionality for use within social media, including better personalisation and visualisation options. It is possible to compare two old maps and create a personal map collection with the new "My Maps" function.

Klokan Technologies also prepared new Facebook application for georeferencing maps from the BL, you can participate and in the same moment compete with your FB friends: https://apps.facebook.com/georeferencer/

Moreover, involved contributors can choose from two different collections of maps, which were selected for release:

First collection represents maps of British and Irish towns and its fire insurance plans (2500 maps). This collection provides information, which you will not find somewhere else, not just about the land use, buildings, but also about the urban landscape in the late 19thc - 20th century.

Second collection consists of military maps from the World War I and US Civic War (225 maps). Among these maps you can find trench maps, campaign charts and also ethnographic mapping.

Each contributor will see his/her details and the best contributor will be publicly announced.

For more information, please follow this link: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/magnificentmaps/2013/11/2700-new-maps-online-for-georeferencing.html


Battersea Arts Centre Digital Archive powered by Omeka

At the occasion of 120th anniversary celebration of the opening the building, the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) in London together with Klokan Technologies GmbH have launched the digital archive website powered by the open-source software and online community. BAC created this vital online resource which will help to develop more partnerships, reach new audiences and follow the BAC's mission: to invent the future of theatre.

Omeka 2.0

Klokan Technologies have adjusted and deployed Omeka (http://www.omeka.org/), the open source content management system for online digital collections. Specialized in development of applications of open-source software for the culture heritage sector, we customized the Omeka core for BAC project and enriched it with new functionality and custom theme.

Omeka was designed to satisfy the needs of institutions that lack extensive technical staff and large budget and allows the archive to expand and improve as the online user community employ the available contribute function.


Unique photo wall technology has been used for exploring the attractive content (as you can see on the picture). We have applied a new fast zooming approach for even better interaction experience with the scanned photos and other digital artifacts. Audience can also use an instant search function with advanced filtering by time and additional attributes.

Klokan Technologies GmbH offer culture heritage institutions development of similar online applications, which open the archives and documents to completely new forms of exploration, discovery and online research and ensure the preservation of the originals.


The Austrian National Library Google Books open-source image server

The Austrian National Library scanned first 100.000 complete historical books from the beginning of 16th century until the second half of the 19th century within the project Google Books project participation. These unique historical books are now accessible online.

You can read the Press Release here:

Klokan Technologies GmbH provided the Austrian National Library with the open-source IIPImage software for the display of scanned books from JPEG2000 format.

Klokan Technologies extended the mentioned open-source project with the implementation of IIIF protocol. Used protocol was defined by the consortium of people from Stanford University, Oxford University, British Library etc. (for more info please visit:  http://www-sul.stanford.edu/iiif/image-api/1.1/).

The IIIF image API specifies a web service that returns an image in response to a standard http or https request.

About 600.000 copyright-free works are supposed to be digitized.


The InDOG workshop in Olomouc - GIS and Map Tiles


Within the second InDOG PhD conference which was organized by the Department of Geoinformatics, Palacky University in Olomouc, participated among other experts also Petr Pridal.

The conference was realized in October 2013 within the project Innovation of PhD Geoinformatics and Cartography study with support of modern technological trends.

The aim of the project is to innovate doctoral degree programs at Palacky University in Olomouc, focusing on Geoinformatics and Cartography (with an impact on students of other universities in the Czech Republic of similar focus) with the focus to support the latest digital technology.

The workshop about GIS and Map Tiles was headed by Petr Pridal who led a "Keynote Workshop". You can see the presentation he prepared for PhD students online at: http://www.slideshare.net/klokan/olomouc-indogtiles

PhD students had a possibility to get to know more about pre-rendering of map tiles with MapTiler, its advantages as well as disadvantages and to consult the projects which interests them. Petr talked about tiling the maps, research and recent exciting development in GIS. He presented Klokan Technologies products, clients and the process of rendering. Students who attended this workshop had an unique opportunity to find out how does the process look like from the very beginning.


His Majesty King Willem-Alexander opens the exhibition of Atlas Neederlanden rendered with MapTiler

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander opens today the exhibition of Atlas Neederlanden.

The MapTiler software has been used to produce the interactive online presentation of the historic maps from this atlas.

Klokan Technologies GmbH in cooperation with the team from the University of Amsterdam has been processing these beautiful maps on the Dutch national research HPC Infrastructure of the SURFsara supercomputer centre.

The special collection of historical maps shows in the map image the genesis of the Kingdom of Netherlands. The Atlas of Neederlanden which was recently restored and digitized and processed with the MapTiler software. This atlas consists from nine parts and contains 618 maps of the Netherlands from the 17th to the early 19th century and represents the largest collector atlas of the country.

The digital version is available online at:

The exhibition called Atlas of Neederlanden: the dawn of the Kingdom at the University of Amsterdam which was opened by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on October 18 2013 and will last until 9 February 2014 celebrates 200 years Kingdom of the Netherlands.

It began in 2010 with the restoration and digitization of maps. The process was completed late last year. This made it possible to publish these maps for the first time.



FOSS4G 2013: Old Maps Online and Georeferencer

OSGeo's Global Conference for Open Source Geospatial Software that brings together developers of map applications from all around the world. This year the conference took place in Nottingham in the UK 17th - 21st September and Klokan Technologies was there.

You can find conference's website at:  http://2013.foss4g.org/ and all presentations are available in the slideshow on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWW0CjV-TafaBjkroiOxcQw8NdOQ_fhu2 Anyone interested has a possibility to view the presentations from the record.

Probably the most interesting are the technical presentations about the new OpenLayers3, which is the project on which we participated and which will be used in the new version Georeferencer and StareMapy.cz.

Technical details of our work on Georeferencer and MapRank Search presented Vaclav Klusak. Afterwards, Petr Pridal spoke about the new open-source project TileServer and accessing map tiles using standard OGC WMTS.


WebGL accelerated Georeferencer presented on ICA conference in Rome

On ICA conference in Rome (19-20 Sep. 2013) Hynek Pridal from Klokan Technologies presented integration of Polynomial and Thin plate spline transformation into Georeferencer. Those are more accurate for some of the use cases. Up to now this was done only with special map server software with OGC WMS needing installation on the local server. Now it is possible using html technologies such as .HTML5 Canvas, SVG or WebGL which means no installation on your server and no troubles consequently.

WebGL allows hardware accelerated graphical operations on a web page. A graphic card of your own computer is utilized and therefore the overall performance is much higher then experienced ever before. Maps appears faster and there is no need to store georeferenced and non-georeferenced copies of the maps separately - so it is possible to save on the digital storage as well.


TileServer: WMTS from map tiles and MBTiles

Do you want to host your maps online according the OGC WMTS standard? Did you know you can do that from an ordinary PHP web hosting?

Your maps could be used on the web and in mobile devices, but also opened in ArcGIS for Desktop from ESRI or in the open-source QGIS and other desktop GIS clients and systems. There is no need to install any special server software such as MapServer or GeoServer to achieve this.

On the 26th International Cartographic Conference in Dresden, Germany we have announced a new TileServer project which allows exactly this.

The presentation contains a step-by-step guide how to convert GeoTIFF or other raster geodata files into tiles and WMTS online endpoint.
Any ordinary webserver is supported  - no need to install additional server software - so the publishing process is extremely easy and the maps are very fast.

The TileServer comes with a nice JavaScript interface showing the list of the published maps, sample viewers in Google Maps, Leaflet and other web libraries including copy&paste ready code. Both tiles in a folder as well as the MBTiles are supported.

There are also step-by-step guides for desktop GIS software which is supported:
The maps are of course usable with:
  • Web mapping via Google Maps API, Leaflet, OpenLayers, MapBox.js via TileJSON
  • iOS mobile devices (iPhone/iPad) via MapKit or RouteMe
  • Android tablets and mobile phones via OSMDroid and Google Maps Android API
Check the presentation and feel free to download and try the open-source TileServer-PHP project.

To convert your geodata into tiles you can use our http://www.maptiler.com/.

The TileServer PHP project website:

Video recording of the presentation:

Slides for presentation:

The TileServer-PHP projects has been co-developed together with NOAA - and in fact it has been successfully used on the official Hurricane Sandy Response Imagery service where it has replaced ArcIMS server for large number of simultaneous visitors - from the web and mobile application as well as GIS clients.


Coding session of our developers

Our today's effort is your tomorrow's profit

In the beginning of July we have made a coding sprint and hacking session with the Klokan Technologies GmbH core developers together with a few guests interested in programming and hacking with us.

This has been great few days - where some of the fruits of our work and results are or soon going to become available as part of our products and open-source projects.

What have we done?

Well, for example the Georeferencer online service supports now directly the world-wide unique WebGL in browser transformation into Polynomial and Thin Plate Spline map overlays for thousands of maps:


You can open and play with one for example here:


Just click on Polynomial or TPS buttons. Do you like it?  Share your experience with us!

The MapTiler Pro and the open-source OGC WMTS TileServer, which is going to be presented on the International Cartographic Conference in Dresden 2013 (http://www.icc2013.org/) and on FOSS4G (http://2013.foss4g.org/) has moved significantly forward too and we have now set a clear roadmap for further development.

There are many more cool new things in our labs, which are going to be announced later this year!

Stay with us and enjoy our products.


MapTiler Pro launched

The new Pro version of MapTiler with a graphical user interface provides more comfortable way of using the software, while the advanced users can still utilise the command line for complete automation and batch processing.

The MapTiler Pro is enhancing and replacing the older MapTiler Cluster product. All our customers are being upgraded now.

MapTiler and MapTiler Pro converts raster maps into a format suitable for web applications, mobile devices and 3D visualisation. It provides the easiest way how to prepare raster geodata for mashups, apps and for Google Earth. It produces either a folder with tiles and simple HTML viewer or the MBTiles data format.

Raster maps and images are transformed into tiles compatible with Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, Microsoft Bing, MapQuest or MapBox and can be used as overlay or standalone background maps. The maps can be also visualised in 3D form by Google Earth.

Developers can easily render raster geodata into map tiles suitable for Google Maps API mashups and native mobile applications (iPhone/iPad/Android) made with Apple MapKit, RouteMe or OSMDroid.

MapTiler Pro 0.4.1 has following added features:
  • Graphical user interface for Windows and Mac OS X for rendering of multiple files (GeoTiff, MrSID, ECW,...) into a seamless map layer
  • Support for direct output into MBTiles format
  • Leaflet viewer automatically generated for all maps, next to Google Maps API V3
  • Improved progress bar status for rendering
  • Drag and Drop files and improved dialog for spatial reference systems
  • User friendly installer under Windows and fixes of various bugs
  • A new cheaper license option - with availability for one month
Contact info@klokantech.com to get a free demo and more info.


The Bounding Box Tool described by the Harvard University Library

Marc McGee from the Harvard University Library has written a great step-by-step guide on how to use the Bounding Box Tool developed and maintained by Klokan Technologies GmbH.

The practical online tool for (not only) map librarians is freely available at the address http://boundingbox.klokantech.com/ and it allows visual selection of geographic coordinates for direct copy&paste into a library system during cataloguing in various formats such as MARC, DublinCore, CSV or KML.

The article has been published in the recent issue of the »base line« newsletter (Volume 34, Number 3, June 2013, ISSN 1943-6548) in the section »On the cataloging/cataloguing front« edited by Tammy Wong from the Library of Congress.

Base line is an official publication of the American Library Association’s Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT).

The complete text is open access and freely available online at: http://www.ala.org/magirt/sites/ala.org.magirt/files/content/publicationsab/baseline/34_3.pdf

We are keen to further develop such online tools in future and help with the geospatial search applications in large map catalogues and with community engagement through our Georeferencer and MapRank Search technologies.

It is really a pleasure to see our work appreciated by many map librarians all over the world!


FOSSGIS 2013: WebGL Future of online mapping

Keynote (a lightning talk) of our CEO on the FOSSGIS 2013 - the biggest geo open-source conference in german speaking part of Europe is now available online.

See the video recording on YouTube:


Map overlays with WebGL: affine, polynomial, TPS transformations in JavaScript with GLSL

A new approach on how to overlay high-resolution images on top of online slippy maps (such as Google Maps, OpenLayers or Leaflet) has been introduced by Petr Pridal from Klokan Technologies at ETH Zurich (one of the world’s top technical universities) during the conference The Graphical Web 2012 / SVGOpen 2012.

The HTML5 and WebGL technology enables on demand calculation of various overlay transformations (affine, polynomial, TPS) for high resolution zoomable maps or large raster data (such as aerial photos) directly in a web browser - immediately, with instant response for an user interaction, as demonstrated in http://vimeo.com/50144414.

Technically it is an viable and scalable client-side alternative for traditional server-side services such as OpenGIS WMS or WMTS for some specific use cases.

This technology will soon be integrated with the Georeferencer online service - to be available to general public on the high resolution maps published in the David Rumsey map collection or in the British Library as well as other institutions using this service which allows to turn scans into true maps with a few clicks inside of a collaborative online interface.

The warping technology may be integrated with other third-party systems - desktop, server or mobile applications with OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible GPU. Support for transformations between custom map projections is also on our roadmap.

The record of the complete presentation is online.

This technology complements the MapTiler Cluster product, the significantly improved version of the popular open-source GDAL2Tiles utility for generating map tiles suitable for cost effective and scalable TMS and OpenGIS WMTS compatible map publishing from any cloud storage or a traditional Apache+PHP webhosting, practical for Google Maps API mashups and for native mobile applications (iPhone/iPad/Android) utilizing Apple MapKit, RouteMe or OSMDroid.


MapTiler available on the Mac App Store

The latest version of MapTiler for Mac is available on the Mac App Store for free:

If you have a laptop or desktop computer from Apple running Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7) or upgraded Snow Leopard (10.6.6+) you can now easily install the latest version of MapTiler from the Mac App Store, as a free application.

This version of MapTiler is powered by our C/C++ rendering core, which means it is faster, it comes with new features, fixed bugs and functionality normally available only to our MapTiler Cluster customers, who are rendering large maps from multiple files for extremely fast displaying in their web applications (powered by Google Maps API, OpenLayers, Leaflet, ...), native mobile applications on Android or iPhone/iPad (powered by Apple MapKit, RouteMe or OSMDroid) or for opening the maps in desktop GIS clients (ArcGIS Desktop, QGIS, ..) as an OpenGIS WMTS layer.

Some of the cool features in the new version of MapTiler:

  • New viewer built on Google Maps V3 with client side over-zooming and opacity slider 
  • Maximally simplified installation on Mac and a full switch to 64bit platform
  • Rendering of world maps without issues or preprocessing
  • Direct optimisation of the size of the produced tiles (pngnq embedded)
  • The XYZ tile addressing directly compatible with OpenStreetMap & Google Maps as the default output 
  • Improved KML SuperOverlay implementation
  • MBTiles support via mbutil (direct support is planned)
  • Hosting the tiles with OpenGIS WMTS standard and TileJSON compatibility by TileServer Open-Source Project is possible, the rendered map tiles are openable in ArcGIS Desktop, QGIS, MapBox JS, Leaflet, OpenLayers, etc.
  • Many more small fixes and improvements

A version for alternative platforms (such as Microsoft Windows) will follow soon.


MapTiler Cluster: New version

New MapTiler Cluster is released! The development still continues driven by customers’ needs and we intensively work on creating graphical user interface, which makes the usage of software more convenient.

The new version has following added features: 

  • New viewer built on Google Maps V3 with over-zooming and opacity slider 
  • Full switch to 64bit platforms (including Windows and Mac OSX) 
  • Add own custom watermark 
  • MBTiles support via mbutil 
  • Possibility to host the tiles as WMTS and TileJSON 
  • Support for back compatible TMS 
  • Fixes on KML Superoverlay 
  • Fixed several bugs 
  • New user manual reflecting use cases of our customers 

Contact info@klokantech.com to get a demo.


British Library: 3rd Georeferencer pilot announced

Using Georeferencer software from Klokan technologies, another 800 items have been selected for the Georeferencer Project from the British Library’s collection of over 4.5 million maps. The last time the British Library undertook such a project 708 maps were completed in less than one week.

It’s easy to use and highly addictive – and a fascinating way to explore the past while improving the information that underpins our digitised collections. This project brings together people’s passion for maps and history with the latest online crowdsourcing tools,” says Kimberly Kowal, Lead Curator of Digital Mapping at the British Library. 

As a result of these previous successful rounds of public crowdsourcing, those maps are now spatially enabled, allowing users to search and navigate maps online. Maps from previous rounds are accessible through the Library’s Old Maps Online portal developed by Klokan Technologies.