R. Solar1, M. Janezic2, G. Mahnic2, D. Radovan2

1 - National and University Library, Map and Pictorial Collection, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2 - Geodetic Institute of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia


In libraries around the world, the digitalization projects of written cultural heritage are taking place, and resulting in numerous digital objects and collections. However, very few projects are dealing with remote access (via internet), spatial queries (via GIS) and geocoded multimedia contents at the same time.

The paper describes the integration of diverse geocoded library digital collections (historical maps, postcards, portraits, etc.) into GIS application on the internet that was made within the scope of The European Library (TEL). As a result precious documents, usually unavailable to traditional library users were prepared to be spatially browsed and manipulated.

The principles of a pilot project are as follows. An internet library user visits the TEL portal and searches for the library object by metadata search. The desired object found in some library is displayed to the user together with a link to GIS application which can provide various spatial queries related to primary object. The object can be any digital document: historical or contemporary map, text, photo, portrait, panorama image, or even a music.

All objects are geocoded and stored in the separate library and if requested sent to the user by library server. The user can apply online spatial query that can be related either to:

Based on the fact that all library resources can be identified by geographical coordinates and reviewed by GIS, the aim of the project was to provide an improved and novel display and access according to geographical location that was not possible with previous traditional print media. The described project is an effective attempt to incorporation of GIS, internet and multimedia into TEL, the portal through  which written cultural heritage of 45 European libraries can be accessed, was realized with the cooperation between the National Library of Slovenia and the Geodetic Institute of Slovenia.