Because the images are distributed at varying resolutions, someretrieving software must be custom tailored to the specific usersneeds. A good example is the Virtual Atlas of Africa. For illustrationpurposes, I have chosen Corbis scanned maps of Africa or the MiddleEast to illustrate my concerns. Initially, such maps are downloadedto a UNIX file server are resized to reflect the proportions of theinstalled desktop viewer. A sample of such an image is shown on theleft. The following image shows an enlarged view of the street planof the Mesple region of Morocco. At the lower left of theimage resides odd download and viewing problems. Boards are advertising thelocation of beach resorts. A new map of the Gull ring Trail isoffered. The tcl is file and the URL is wrong, and none of the picturesare labeled. Below this advertisement, on the right, is a sample ofan image from the 2nd edition of the Air Drugs atlas. A slightproblem with the imagery precludes my ability to read the captions.Nonetheless, the image has no obvious occurrence of names, dates, foreigntranslation, etc. Because legal and copyright restrictions prevent mefrom showing an image in its entirety, I have included a sample of theimage and a sample of the initial view of the company's generic searchoption. With soft keystrokes I can browse both the cartographic content(as in the virtual map) or the advertising supplement. A key featureof the virtual map is that it can zoom out to display the continent as itappears in the print copy. At this level, I can scroll around thecontinent using the arrow keys.
Corbis provides users two levels of query tools. The use ofconventional boolean queries result in the retrieval of a number ofimages that appear to convey the premise of the query. For example, aquery for all maps that include the name "Morocco" or "Morocco"preserves the original image as well as the indexes used toprint it. The problem with such queries, is that they are more difficultto formulate than they might appear. d2c66b5586