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Created by Australian design agency Sandpit and DX Lab, the cultural-heritage innovation lab at the State Library of New South Wales, Muru View reinstates indigenous placenames and meanings from various locations around New South Wales and displays them in context with the Google Maps API. The State Library of New South Wales supplied Sandpit with a raw data set that provided locations with corresponding latitudes and longitudes; for the site, Sandpit took the data and generated dynamic views, displaying the place meanings in 3-D space, their location on a 2-D Google Map with a custom skin and finally the name in its home location with a slowly rotating Google Street View image. The text within the view is slightly mirrored, reflecting the location within its original name. The site utilizes scalable vector graphics (SVG), HTML Canvas and WebGL to create an interactive, 3-D experience, with SVG filters simulating depth-of-field. All animations were achieved through a mix of SVG filters, CSS3 and JavaScript.

During the development stage of Muru View, Sandpit knew it wanted to use Google Street View images to display content; however, since many of the areas were in rural New South Wales, the design firm wasn’t sure if Street View images existed for all locations within the dataset. A custom validation tool created by Sandpit enabled it to see if a Streetview image existed within a certain radius of the supplied latitudes and longitudes; the tool has an adjustable resolution that Sandpit could change to increase or decrease the radius at will. Still, there were a few hundred locations in Muru View that did not have a Google Street View image close by, so Sandpit and DX Lab reached out to public libraries across New South Wales to encourage residents of these remote areas to take 360-degree images using Google’s Street View app. The initiative also encouraged the community to get involved in the creation of Muru View.

dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/muruview

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