WWLPP history


In august, the WorldWide Lighthouse Picture Project starts. For years I have had vague plans, but now I dream up a name, create the first web pages and start collecting source material. The project is partially motivated by the need for a large collection of image material representing relatively simple shapes. The computer science department of Utrecht University may use this material in a project about shape analysis.
A farfetched goal of the project is to create a mechanism for the identification of unknown objects (eg lighthouses), given its shape or picture. Lighthouses are well suited for this purpose because the prominent features usually have low complexity due to a large degree of symmetry. Furthermore, once the lighthouse collection complete, it will need little maintainance.

In order to get the project going, at least I need an example region. I must get descriptions and pictures of all Dutch lighthouses, put it in a data file and generate a nice picture page.

The offical source for basic information about Dutch lighthouses is the so called lichtenlijst (list of lights) published by the Dutch Navy. It is used by seamen for navigation, and lists all harborlights, lighthouses, radio beacons, etc in Dutch and neighboring waters. This book gives me authorative information on Dutch lighthouses.

Next I need pictures. There is a lot of material available, of course, but everything is copyrighted and I don't have any pictures myself. The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management publishes a nice poster with good pictures of every lighthouse in the Netherlands so I decide to ask them to grant me permission to scan this material and publish it on WWW. A decision is still pending.

Nice maps are published by BridGIS. I intend to ask BridGIS to sponsor the project and hope to get their permission to use even more suitable maps than those they fork out for free.

Henk Penning, Tue Sep 14 00:49:29 MET DST 1999