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Annual Report 2015-2016

August 2, 2016 in Report

5-1-15 to 4-30-16

ANCIENT WORLD MAPPING CENTER (http://awmc.unc.edu)

For 2015-2016, the seemingly routine annual claim that the past year has been busier than ever is no exaggeration for sure.  Not only did an exceptional number of commissioned maps achieve completion, but the Center also made substantial headway on several research projects as well as mounting its first conference.

Particularly significant among completed commissions is a set of nine maps for the fifth edition of the much-used Oxford Classical Dictionary, the first of its editions to be digital-only, and the first to include any maps!  The set – designed by Center Director Gabriel Moss – ranges from the spread of Greek colonization to the administrative divisions of Constantine’s empire.  Graduate assistant Alexandra Locking produced ten maps for Mercury’s Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World, a collaborative volume co-edited by Fred Naiden and Richard Talbert, due for publication by Oxford University Press in 2017.  Other notable commissions included maps for the first-ever English translation and commentary on Dionysius of Byzantium, Anaplous Bospori (Thomas Russell, Oxford University Press); for Brill’s Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean (ed. Timothy Howe and Lee Brice); for a display of ancient coins at the University Museum, Oxford MS; and for Civitates, a board game designed for high-school students learning Latin.  Plans developed last year with the Bible and Gospel Trust, UK, led to the production and delivery of a dozen maps to illustrate the bible.  Trevor Bryce’s Atlas of the Ancient Near East and Persia from Prehistoric Times to the Roman Imperial Period, for which the Center made 130 full-color maps last year, has now been published by Routledge, an impressive volume.

In April the Center held its first conference, on the theme Mapping the Past: G.I.S. Approaches to Ancient History.  This well-attended occasion – with keynote address by the Center’s first director, Dr Tom Elliott (NYU) – provided a productive forum in which twelve speakers from North America and Europe shared approaches and techniques for using geography and digital tools to study the ancient past.  The technology training workshop G.I.S. for Historians organized in connection with the conference filled to capacity.  All presentations were filmed and are publicly available on the Center’s new YouTube channel: (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEr92C0pVw6-CeM9krzNs2Q)

Two ongoing research initiatives were advanced: the map of Hispania at 1:750,000 scale, and digital manipulation of Forma Urbis Romae fragments in collaboration with Prof. Ryan Shaw and graduate assistant Will Knauth in the School of Information and Library Science.  Further initiatives were launched, in particular the creation of digital maps to add a cartographic dimension to Ptolemy’s Table of Important Cities and to the Synekdemos of Hierocles.   Maps to illustrate travel accounts were also started, among them Egeria’s pilgrimages and the journey of Theophanes from Hermopolis in Egypt to Syrian Antioch.

The Center’s partnership with Pleiades at New York University (Pleiades.stoa.org) remained active; this project has embarked on a new phase with the award of further support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Center’s two publicly available mapping resources, the Antiquity-A-La-Carte platform and the Ancient World Map Tiles, continue to be in great demand from scholars and educators.  Former Center director Dr. Ryan Horne designed both, and has maintained them: the platform now has approaching 2,000 registered users, while this year alone the tiles have been viewed nearly one million times.

The Center’s assistants have proven as dedicated and talented as ever.  It is a blow to be losing both graduate students: Will Knauth has completed his MLS, and Alexandra Locking has won a fellowship which requires exclusive focus on the completion of her dissertation.  Among undergraduates, Ashley Cloud graduated after two years of dedicated work for the Center.  Michael Heubel continued for a third year, and was joined by three excellent recruits Sabrina Cheung, Daniel Hawke, and McKenzie Hitchcock.  It is the Center’s good fortune that Gabriel Moss, after an outstandingly successful year as director, will continue in that position for 2016-2017.

Gabriel Moss

Richard Talbert

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Licensing Adjustments

June 8, 2016 in E-resource, News, Site Information

As part of a broader project to remove needless restrictions on our data (see last week’s changes to A-la-Carte), as of June 8, 2016, all shapefiles on our Resources page are now available under the Open Database License (ODbL 1.0).  This replaces the previous Creative Commons 3.0 Non-Commercial License, and provides users significantly more freedom to use our data in any and all forms of research and publication.  As always, please direct any questions or suggestions to awmc@unc.edu.

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American Geographic Society Library Fellowships

June 3, 2016 in Funding

From our colleagues at the American Geographic Society Library at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:

The AGS Library is one of the premier collections of its kind in North America, containing over 1.3 million items including maps, atlases, books, periodicals, and photographs. The cartographic collection dates to 1452, with particular strengths in documents related to American empire. The collections are vast and varied, and include, for example, the portfolio of maps used by the Americandelegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919; an original copy of the 1861 Daedong yeojido by Korean cartographer Kim Jeong-ho; and extensive collections from Latin America, Asia and Polar regions.

Photographic collections reflect the global travels and studies of individual geographers and members of the Society throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with particularly notable collections in polar exploration and Western U.S. expansion. Archives include various collections related to the history of American geography. Books and periodicals include an extensive collection of early travel literature and guidebooks, as well as a rich historical collection of globally produced geographical periodicals.

Currently, there are two types of eligibility:

  • Scholars at all levels, including faculty and Ph.D. dissertators, at U.S. federally defined Minority-Serving Institutions are eligible for the AGSL Fellowships for MSI Scholars. ($600/week, up to 4 weeks)
  • Scholars at all levels, including faculty and Ph.D. dissertators, at any university are eligible for John and Helen Best Fellowships. ($400/week, up to 4 weeks)

Complete fellowship descriptions can be found on the AGSL website. Past fellowship recipients have included scholars of history, geography, cartography, climate, environmental studies, and literature. Lists of previous AGSL fellowship recipients and their projects may be found here and hereApplications for the 2017 fellowships are due on November 4, 2016.

Please contact Curator Marcy Bidney (bidney@uwm.edu) with questions about the fellowships or our collections. Photos of the AGS Library can be viewed on our Flickr page.

Please circulate this announcement widely.

 

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AWMC Spam Issues

May 5, 2016 in Site Information

Dear Users,

It has come to my attention that in the last 24 hours a number of you may have received spam through AWMC’s message system, messages that in some cases appeared to come from an official AWMC email address.  The user responsible has been removed from the site, and I’ve adjusted our group and messaging settings to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future.  Neither your user information nor the basic functionality of the site appear to have been compromised.  If you received spam, I apologize for the inconvenience.  As always, please email if you have any issues or concerns with the website.

Thanks!

-Gabe

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Richard Talbert to Speak at AAH

April 28, 2016 in Conference, Interest, Presentation

AWMC founder and faculty advisor Dr. Richard Talbert will give a talk on Friday, May 6 at the Association of Ancient Historians Conference in Tacoma, WA.  The talk is entitled “Latitude and Worldview: The Evidence from Roman Portable Sundials.”  Details on the conference are here.

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“Mapping the Past” Videos Now Available

April 18, 2016 in Conference

The recordings of last month’s conference are now up on YouTube.  If you couldn’t make it to the conference, you can now watch the proceedings.  Thanks again to everyone who made the event possible, and for all our presenters for allowing us to record and post their talks.

Conference Videos

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Thank You!

April 13, 2016 in Conference

A huge thank you to everyone who attended the “Mapping the Past” conference last weekend!  We had a collection of excellent papers and a large and enthusiastic audience.  All talks were recorded and will be posted to YouTube in the next week–I’ll post updates when they’re available.  Thanks again to everyone who made this event possible!

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Saturday Parking

April 8, 2016 in Conference

For everyone planning to attend the “Mapping the Past” paper panels this Saturday, April 9:

It has just come to my attention that we will be sharing campus on Saturday with UNC’s annual Science Expo.  As a result, Cameron Ave. will be closed between Columbia St. and Raleigh St., and parking will not be available in the Swain Lot, the Bynum Circle Lots, Emerson Drive, or Lenoir Drive.  Street closures and a new set of recommended parking spots are on the map below.  With the increased difficulty of parking, I would encourage all conference attendees who are able to travel to campus by public transportation, and to budget additional travel time for the increased traffic and parking difficulties that the Science Expo produces.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

Saturday Parking Map

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TOMORROW: Mapping the Past

April 6, 2016 in Conference

AWMC’s conference “Mapping the Past: G.I.S. Approaches to Ancient History” starts tomorrow morning, with events continuing through Saturday afternoon!  We’re very excited to welcome guests from across the country and around the world for three days of workshops and talks on the use of digital mapping in reconstructing the ancient past.  Check out the conference page for details!

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Announcing AWMC Conference 2016

March 2, 2016 in Conference

Mapping the Past: GIS Approaches to Ancient History

April 7-9, 2016

The Ancient World Mapping Center is very excited to announce that it’s first ever academic conference will be held on April 7-9 on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.  ”Mapping the Past: GIS Approaches to Ancient History,” features a slate of exceptional scholars from eight universities and three countries.  Check out the flyer below of visit the conference page for more information.

 

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