Real World Use Cases: MapStore for the MuseiD Portal, the Italian Digital Museums initiative

Dear Readers,
in this post we would like to talk to you about the work we performed to add mapping capabilities to the MuseiD Portal that has been developed for the Italian “Ministero dei Beni Culturali” (the department of the Italian Government that looks after our Cultural Heritage) to allow users (technical and non-technical) to search for and get information about masterpieces of art belonging to many different collections from all over Italy. More information here.

The initiative aims to create an infrastructure to gather, index, aggregate and manage metadata from italian musems describing the manufacts they are responsible for. The portal exposed to the internet is therefore only the front-end of this infrastructure, which has Open Source Software at its heart, to name a few:
  • the search engine is based on Apache SOLR
  • the portal is OpenCMS
  • the digital library is Fedora
Our contribution was requested in order to:
  1. geocode the resources as part of the ingestion process
  2. provide a map based visualization for the resources embedded within the existing portal and synchronized with the portal search itself.

For the map based visualization we decided to use the usual suspects:

  • we use PostGIS to store geolocated resources
  • we use a cluster of GeoServer to allow the OpenCMS to query such  resources dynamically at search time
  • we use MapStore to place on the map the geolocated resources
The workflow is as follows: once a search is performed by a user, the Portal orchestrates a search in the search engine for the resources and then talks to GeoServer  to geolocate those that do not contain a proper geolocation (i.e a point in WGS84) but only a textual address. As a result the resources that are part of the resultset for a search are injected in MapStore directly via its marker api; it is worth to notice that resources are clustered using the faceted search mechanism for SOLR. 
Italian readers can find the users’ guide here, otherwise you can start playing with the portal by looking at the resources for our beloved region, Tuscany (just click on the icon next to “View Map”) as shown below. 

Showing the results of a faceted (clustered) search for the region of Tuscany
Showing the location of a single resource for which we have precise gelocation

If you are interested in knowing more about these activites, do not heasitate to contact us. If you want to know more about MapStore, check its website here.

The GeoSolutions team,