New Features – Linking to Maps

October 31, 2012 in Updates

In the next few posts I will discuss various aspects of our upgraded application and new features which we hope the larger ancient community may find useful.

One particularly exciting new feature is the ability to link directly to a map with user specified features. Although this is in a very preliminary state, you can send a json parameter, following the structure used by Pleiades, in a URL linking to the map (using a parameter called jsonGet).

For instance, the typical URL to access our application is: http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/alacarte/ 

The url with the correct  parameter looks like the following: http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/alacarte/?jsonGet=

If you go to Pleiades you can get the .json representation of Athens (http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/579885/json) which is:

{"connectsWith": ["579888", "580123"], "recent_changes": [{"modified": "2012-10-23T19:39:21Z", "principal": "sgillies"}, {"modified": "2012-02-15T06:40:36Z", "principal": "admin"}], "description": "A major Greek city-state", "title": "Athenae", "reprPoint": [23.719536999999999, 37.970793], "features": [{"geometry": {"type": "Point", "bbox": [23.726464, 37.971687000000003, 23.726464, 37.971687000000003], "coordinates": [23.726464, 37.971687000000003]}, "type": "Feature", "properties": {"snippet": "Settlement; 750 BC - AD 640", "link": "http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/579885/dare-location", "description": "Representative point location, site precision", "title": "DARE Location"}, "id": "dare-location"}, {"geometry": {"type": "Point", "bbox": [23.719536999999999, 37.970793, 23.719536999999999, 37.970793], "coordinates": [23.719536999999999, 37.970793]}, "type": "Feature", "properties": {"snippet": "Unknown; 750 BC - AD 640", "link": "http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/579885/darmc-location-21246", "description": "Point location", "title": "DARMC location 21246"}, "id": "darmc-location-21246"}], "names": ["Athenae", "Athens"], "type": "FeatureCollection", "id": "579885", "bbox": [23.719536999999999, 37.970793, 23.726464, 37.971687000000003]}

You can simply copy and paste this information into the url following the ?jsonGet=

If you bring up this link, you will notice that Athens is now displayed on the map and the url has transformed into:

http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/alacarte/?jsonGet={%22connectsWith%22:%20[%22579888%22,%20%22580123%22],%20%22recent_changes%22:%20[{%22modified%22:%20%222012-10-23T19:39:21Z%22,%20%22principal%22:%20%22sgillies%22},%20{%22modified%22:%20%222012-02-15T06:40:36Z%22,%20%22principal%22:%20%22admin%22}],%20%22description%22:%20%22A%20major%20Greek%20city-state%22,%20%22title%22:%20%22Athenae%22,%20%22reprPoint%22:%20[23.719536999999999,%2037.970793],%20%22features%22:%20[{%22geometry%22:%20{%22type%22:%20%22Point%22,%20%22bbox%22:%20[23.726464,%2037.971687000000003,%2023.726464,%2037.971687000000003],%20%22coordinates%22:%20[23.726464,%2037.971687000000003]},%20%22type%22:%20%22Feature%22,%20%22properties%22:%20{%22snippet%22:%20%22Settlement;%20750%20BC%20-%20AD%20640%22,%20%22link%22:%20%22http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/579885/dare-location%22,%20%22description%22:%20%22Representative%20point%20location,%20site%20precision%22,%20%22title%22:%20%22DARE%20Location%22},%20%22id%22:%20%22dare-location%22},%20{%22geometry%22:%20{%22type%22:%20%22Point%22,%20%22bbox%22:%20[23.719536999999999,%2037.970793,%2023.719536999999999,%2037.970793],%20%22coordinates%22:%20[23.719536999999999,%2037.970793]},%20%22type%22:%20%22Feature%22,%20%22properties%22:%20{%22snippet%22:%20%22Unknown;%20750%20BC%20-%20AD%20640%22,%20%22link%22:%20%22http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/579885/darmc-location-21246%22,%20%22description%22:%20%22Point%20location%22,%20%22title%22:%20%22DARMC%20location%2021246%22},%20%22id%22:%20%22darmc-location-21246%22}],%20%22names%22:%20[%22Athenae%22,%20%22Athens%22],%20%22type%22:%20%22FeatureCollection%22,%20%22id%22:%20%22579885%22,%20%22bbox%22:%20[23.719536999999999,%2037.970793,%2023.726464,%2037.971687000000003]}

You can directly copy and paste this url into any website and it will generate an À-la-carte map featuring Athens.

We plan to dramatically expand this functionality in the future (including adding RESTful URIs).  In the immediate future we would like to add a different parameter that would accept either multiple place names or Pleiades IDs and populate the map accordingly, which we will hopefully complete in a few days. If you would like to see specific functionality, or if you have ideas as to how this type of data link could be useful to your own site or project, please feel free to leave a comment – our hope is that this is merely the start of a larger collaboration between the AWMC and other digital projects.

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