Dynamic Digital Maps - Download Links to the DDM-Template, Cookbook, Learning Documents, Selected DDMs, and Associated Geologic Exercises
Christopher D. Condit - Updated December 4, 2013
Department of Geosciences - University of Massachusetts-Amherst
National Science Foundation - Grant # DUE-CCLI-0127331 2002-2006 and NSF-EAR-0949328, 2010-2013

Space down to DDM download links and the Extended Dynamic Digital Map.

Description of a Dynamic Digital Map
A Dynamic Digital Map is a stand-alone "presentation manager" program that displays and links maps, images, movies, data and text, like map explanations and field trip guides. A user, viewing a map in a DDM, sees a thematic map, containing camera icons and map symbols that link images, movies and text or analytical data related to those locations. DDM content, and access to it, is summarized by a searchable lists or "Indexes" of Images, Maps, and Articles opened from buttons found on the Home Screen. The Home Screen also provides an "Index Map" that graphically illustrates the coverage of maps contained in the DDM, and links to them.

Automated Tours - The DDM of the Springerville Volcanic Field has an Automated Tour that demonstrates the basics of how to use a DDM containing a large data set; the DDM of New England has a similar tour that concentrates on the educational use of DDMs with basic geologic field guides. The DDM-Wachusettsres (of Wachusetts Reservoir, in the western Boston, Massachusetts area) and the DDM-DRWKnotweed, (of the Knotweed infestation of the Deerfield River drainage system, western new England) and the DDM-SedRxWMa (of Selected Sedimentary Rosks in Western Massachusetts) also have shorter automated tours.
Making a Dynamic Digital Map
Made using the cross-platform LiveCode programming environment, DDMs are WEB-enabled and browser independent. The "DDM-Template" is an open source program into which a LiveCode user can insert metadata (mostly file names) that enable the program to open existing maps, images, figures and movies from an organization of directories. A DDM maker modifies the Template to make their own DDM by inserting text and data directly into the program, which is then renamed to reflect its new content. A "Cookbook" guides the LiveCode user through the steps of building the DDM. A series of short (six minute videos) and a couple of tutorials, which take a total of about eight hours, provide the background needed to use LiveCode and the Cookbook to start making a DDM. Once a Template has been completely modified, royalty-free stand-alone applications for a variety of operating systems (for example, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) can be made directly from this single LiveCode document, regardless of the platform used to prepare the original. To download the DDM Template, Cookbook, Tutorials (Learning Documents), and DDM-File Directories (see the DDM-Making page below).
Information about, and the open-source version of LiveCode can be obtained from runrev.com .


The Extended Dynamic Digital Map
This (2012) summer a new grad student (Jess McBeck) and I planned to build a Dynamic Digital Map of Gale Crater, Mars while adding a few modern features and improvements to the Dynamic Digital Map software. However, we realized that the modernization of this older version would ultimately be more time intensive than building entirely new software, and that the vast possibilities of a modernized Dynamic Digital Map necessitated such an extreme overhaul. Though this new software shares much of the basic functionality of a Dynamic Digital Map, it differs markedly in its size, organization and architecture, and so we gave it a new name: The Extended Dynamic Digital Map (EDDM).

EDDMs are perhaps best described as a sort of computerized, self-authored, interactive textbook. This software enables people to easily gather and present data so that users of the EDDM may actively absorb whatever material the designer of the EDDM decides to include. For example, this summer we designed the EDDM of Gale Crater to teach people about the geology of Gale Crater, which is currently the home of the most sophisticated NASA Mars Rover - Curiosity.

The EDDM-Gale Crater for MacIntosh (462 MB , updated 2012-10-20) can be download from
DDM-EDDM-Gale-Crater ; a poster on it has been accepted by the American Geophysical Union for presentation at the V018 session of December 2012 AGU meeting in San Francisco (McBeck and Condit, 2012), and it will be introduced at the Pardee Digital Mapping Session at the GSA National meeting in Charlotte Nov. 5, 2012.

The most significant advantage of the modernized EDDM is its easily augmented functionality. In the future, the EDDM will be able to communicate with databases, import KML files from Google Earth, and be available on iOS and Android operating systems. The most recent EDDM is a mere skeleton of its full capabilities - a robust architecture upon which myriad functionality can be supplemented.

The DDMs available on the page links below are standalone programs that run without other software. The programs, if run locally (from CD, DVD, HD or flash memory) access their data from directories within their home folder. The DDMs can also be used independently via web links, which require fast internet connections. In this case, they access their data [maps and images (in jpeg format), and movies (in QuickTime format)] from a file server in Chris Condit's lab at UMass-Amherst; any web server using http protocol will also work. To see any included movies, Windows and Mac based computers must have the latest QuickTime Player installed (free from Apple for both platforms, at www.apple.com); Linux users should try the open-source MLPlayer to see videos. Computers with less than 512 MB of free RAM will run these programs very slowly at best.


DDM Download Pages:
(DDM version dates here are more current than those on actual download pages, which I update less often)


Selected References

Boundy, T.M and Condit, C.D., 2004, Bringing The Field Into The Classroom By Using Dynamic Digital Maps To Engage Undergraduate Students In Petrology Research, v. 52, no. 4, p. 313-319 (open September issue cover)

Condit, C.D., 1995a, Dynamic Digital Map: The Springerville Volcanic Field: Prototype color digital maps with ancillary data. Boulder Colorado, Geol. Soc. Am. Digital Pub. Series DPSM01MC (CD-ROM for the Macintosh); v. 4.10.95 size: 36.7 megabytes.

Condit, C.D., 1995b, DDM.SVF: A prototype Dynamic Digital Map of the Springerville volcanic field, Arizona, GSA Today, v.5, p. 69, 87-88.

Condit, C.D., 1999, Presentation of Volcanological and Planetary Datasets Using Dynamic Digital Maps, Geol. Soc. Am. Abst. with Prog., Vol. 31, No. 7, October 1999.

Condit, C.D., 1999, Components of Dynamic Digital Maps, Computers & Geosciences, v. 25, p. 511-522.

Condit, C.D., 2000, Dynamic Digital Maps - A Macintosh CD-ROM, Univ. Massachusetts Dept. Geosciences Contribution No. 72, 550 MB CD-ROM, pamphlet, 46p.

Condit, C.D., 2001, Using Dynamic Digital Maps Interactively in Large Geology Courses, Geol. Soc. Am. Abst. with Prog., v. 33, no. 6.

Condit, C.D., and Boundy, T.M, 2002, Bringing the field into the classroom: using Dynamic Digital Maps to engage undergraduate students in petrology research, Geol. Soc. Am. Abst. with Prog., v. 34, No. 6, p. 454.

Condit, C.D., Williams, Wendi J.W., 2003, Using Dynamic Digital Mapping with universal design goals to provide enriched learning opportunities to students and faculty, GSA Abstracts with Programs Vol. 35, No. 6.

Condit, C.D., 2005, Dynamic Digital Maps: the DDM-Template and Cookbook, a Powerpoint presentation made at the USGS-Assoc. Am. State Geologist's April 2005 Digital Mapping Techniques Conference, Baton Rouge La, Selected Presentations, 19.5 MB.

Condit, C.D., 2005, Dynamic Digital Maps: A Means to Distribute Maps and Associated Media via Web and CD, in D.R. Soller, ed., Digital Mapping Techniques '05 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 2005-1428, 16 pages. download pdf file (2.7 MB).

Condit, C.D., 2010, Dynamic Digital Map of the Springerville Volcanic Field and the DDM-Template: An example of an open-source tool to distribute maps, data, articles, and multi-media materials, Geosphere; August 2010; v. 6; no. 4; p. 1Š13; doi: 10.1130/GES00531.1; 9 figures. download pdf file (7 MB).


Bug reports and suggestions to ccondit@geo.umass.edu
Updated December 4, 2013


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