• L.A. Zone

    A view of the L.A. basin provided through data overlays

Visitors explore the geography of the Los Angeles basin in a multitouch multiuser mapping exhibit

A View from Above

The Los Angeles basin is a unique geographical and geological area. It is also one of the most populated and heavily developed environments in the United Sates. In the L.A. Zone exhibit, at the California Science Center, museum visitors can explore the Los Angeles area in a new way. An interactive Google map with KML overlays allows visitors to explore data and images while learning about the forces that have shaped the landscape of southern California.

Visitors can toggle between map overlays and thematic areas that explore fire, air, water, and earth. Phenomena such as water supply, fire risk, Santa Ana wind patterns, and fault line distribution are displayed in graphic overlays. These overlays tell the story of a landscape shaped by a diverse set of influences, and each comes with a legend that describes the data portrayed. The user interface is provided in both English and Spanish.

Geotagged photo and video content, managed by Flickr, is displayed across the map. Visitors can explore the content through the use of intuitive gestures, building the story of the basin through discovery. Photos can be zoomed and moved around the table, with the photo’s source tied visually to its location on the underlying map. Flipping the images over reveals title, author, copyright, and descriptive information about each photograph. Written in both English and Spanish, the data ties each point of interest to the larger exhibit narrative.

Designed to run on Ideum’s multitouch and multiuser table platform, this versatile exhibit allows several visitors to explore content simultaneously. The Google Maps and flickr mashup was developed with Adobe Flash using Open Exhibits (formerly GestureWorks Flash), which allows for the use of multitouch gestures. Applications settings can be easily changed in the XML. This versatile mashup can also be reconfigured to display other geographic locations.

This exhibit is part of the LA Zone exhibition at the California Science Center. You can learn more about our MT-50 multitouch table in the products section of our site.

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