At the end of June, Surrey is running a festival called ‘Celebrating Surrey‘, which highlights creative talent in Surrey. My team in the Library Service decided it would be a good idea to support this with something web based and creative. Part of the thinking behind this was to show colleagues in the Library Service how we could use resources on the web to help promote our stock in a different way. It also gave us an opportunity to experiment, by doing something we’d not tried before.
We decided to create the ‘Surrey Fiction Book Map‘ – this was a Google map highlighting works of fiction set in Surrey. The map itself uses book covers for the markers, which are pinpointed around the county. If you click on a marker it opens up to reveal more details of the book and gives the opportunity to borrow it from Surrey Libraries, or any other library that appears on Worldcat.
It was created manually using ‘Google My Maps‘ – pinpointing each book individually and adding book covers and links. With the power of hindsight, if I was starting from scratch, I’d put it together using a Google docs spreadsheet fed into Yahoo pipes. I recently set up another biographical map using this method and it was much easier. The only drawback of that method though would be that I couldn’t use the book covers as markers. I also added videos to some of the markers, but the links weren’t stable and kept disappearing. Future developments could include linking to biography pages for the author on somewhere like Wikipedia.
The map is now finished and we now need to decide on where it will go. Options include linking from the website to the map, or adding to our anywhere.me page when it’s set up.
It’s been an interesting project and I’m sure we can build on it.