Do you want advise on how to use the interface? Keen on uploading your own datasets? Read on…


Use your own datasets

Actually, this is rather simple. Just follow these 5 Steps:

  1. Take a look at the .kml specification :
  2. Build your own .kml dataset
  3. Upload it to a webserver
  4. Put the URL into the prototype at
  5. Share your set via the magnetic link!


 Sample .kml files

To get a grip on the data model, you can take a look at the .kml files of these demo-sets:

If you have some interesting data: do not hesitate to contact us and get your dataset featured in our showroom!


Technological Framework

e4D is open source – and standing on the shoulders of giants:

We implemented our design in a prototype application in the context of the European project EuropeanaConnect, which is part of the Europeana project. It is based on a client-server architecture that charges the client with the main functionality of the system.
The webserver is mainly used for the data processing step. Depending on the requested data source, the server retrieves the requested data and constructs a KML-file with a specific format. For each received data element, we add a Placemark tag to the KML root. Each Placemark has to be filled with a name, a location (latitude and longitude) and either a valid time stamp or time span. Optionally, a Placemark node can be enriched with a location info (address) that will be used for the place name tag clouds. Slashes are used to separate the levels of detail. A description entry can be used to commit a CDDATA section that includes HTML content. Finally, the KML-file will be sent to the client as a response on the XMLHttpRequest.

The client browser parses the retrieved KML-file, creates JavaScript objects and fills the widgets with content. We decided to construct a pure JavaScript client because it is supported by every browser without any additional package. Another reason for choosing JavaScript for our main application is the rapidly growing browser support in terms of performance. All interactions, including data refinement, are performed on the client side. The great advantage of this system structure is that each modification of a dataset within the client browser just triggers some functions on the client side. This benefits the response time of modifications, since the browser doesn’t have to wait for the server.
For the widgets on the client side we make use of two OpenSource JavaScript libraries. A modified Simile Widgets Timeplot instance organizes the segmented area graphs and OpenLayers visualises the circles and arranges the different map layers. We use a Webserver instance of the GeoServer that provides the tiles of the historic maps.


Run your own instance of e4D (coming soon)

We believe both in open data and open source. We will release a link to the code repository after we finished some last polishing.