Monday, July 29, 2013

Help Wanted: Access to a computer with LOTS of RAM

Help wanted: Access to a computer with a LOT of RAM and a graphics program. Can compensate in: coffee, cupcakes, beer, errands, skateboard wheels & parts, Timmies, karma, etc.; we can work something out. Any graphics/design/webby friends out there who can assist?

Context

What I'm looking to do is stitch together 30 images of 1400x1900 pixels, into a 3X10 grid composite image roughly 14,000x6,000 pixels in size.

The images are the individual plates of the (public domain) 1858 Boulton Atlas of the City of Toronto. This has been done previously as part of a 2009 Harbourfront Exhibit called Found Toronto by E.R.A. Architects (see photo), as well as for the book Historical Atlas of Toronto by Derek Hayes.

The 2009 'Found Toronto' exhibit by E.R.A.
compiled the plates for the 1858 Boulton Atlas

I want to put this online, because it doesn’t exist anywhere (in composite form) on the web [I contacted ERA to see if they still had their digital file from the exhibit, but it has since been misplaced and they only retained a low resolution file. And Hayes’ version is in a super tiny resolution (since it had to fit onto a 11x16 sheet of paper for his book)].

The 30 images can be examined here.

I intend to use a tool like zoom.it to allow users to interactively scroll & zoom in and out, around the compiled map, just like you would in Google-maps. It’s going to be totally cool (the end result would get posted to the above page on my Historical Maps of Toronto project; you would be credited for providing assistance).

You would not need to do the stitching (unless you can help with that too); I just need access to a machine that can handle that size image manipulation. It would probably take 1-2 hours to do — the plates need to be aligned visually/manually as they are not 100% aligned, as can be seen in the photo.

Any helpers? Contact me!