We are happy to announce a long-delayed development on the Virtual Shanghai platform. The Live Maps tool now provides access to two major databases, buildings and images, which allow users to search and locate buildings on any map of Shanghai. The list of buildings is based on harvesting the main buildings in the 1939 Shanghai shi hanghao lutu lu 上海市行號路圖錄 (Shanghai Street Directory – VS ID1635 & ID1636), with additions from other sources. Altogether about 1,800 structures are identified. All buildings come with a description based on our standard typology. Whenever we have pictures of a building, a small camera icon is attached to it. One can start from the search box to look up a particular building and locate it in the city. By default, when one click on “go to location”, the targeted location is placed at the very center of the map window.
The second major feature is the image database. All the images from the database are available and searchable from Live Maps. Whenever relevant, we indicate with a “red pin” icon the pictures for which we have a location. It is thus possible to find the picture of a building or particular feature (as we add more links, locations will extend from individual buildings or features (such as park, bridge, etc.) to “locations” such as a street intersection, a lilong, etc.
The related metadata for each point on the map is displayed in two ways. If one clicks on a point, the left-hand side menu will display the basic metadata. Moreover, by simply moving the mouse over any point, a window will pop up, providing the name, address, typology level 1 and a link to all related metadata. It will automatically display all the images of this particular point whenever available. We are currently working on displaying buildings in different colors according to level 1 of the typology. We hope to restore soon the possibility to create maps “on the fly” based on search in the typology.