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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: 

The url with the correct  parameter looks like the following:

If you go to Pleiades you can get the .json representation of Athens ( 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": "", "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": "", "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:{%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%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%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.


.kml Export Update

October 18, 2012 in Updates

We have significantly improved the .kml export capabilities of the application. All of a feature’s attributes, along with dynamic links to Pleiades and Pelagios for every feature in our data set, now appear when exported into Google Earth in a popup like the image shown here.



Open Water

October 12, 2012 in Updates

We cleaned up our open water layer and ensured that it correctly matches our ancient coastlines. You can see the changes in the application or you can download the .shp files here.


New Export Function

September 28, 2012 in News, Updates

We have added the ability to export the map features as a .json or .kml file which will automatically download to your computer. Both options are available under the “Export” menu item. Check your downloads directory if you are unable to locate the generated file.

Some notes on the exporter:

  • The kml document only has the name and pid (due to limitations in OpenLayers KML generation). We are looking into adding more attributes in the future.
  • The .json file contains all of the attributes of a feature, including different language names.

Interface fixes

September 22, 2012 in Updates

We have updated the popups and the bottom grid to capture the correct coordinates for a feature. In addition, double clicking on the bottom grid now correctly zooms to the selected feature.


Water updates

September 1, 2012 in Updates

We have significantly updated our openwater and inlandwater layers to more accurately reflect the Barrington Atlas and ancient shorelines.


New Features

May 19, 2012 in News, Updates

We have now added the ability to create polygon areas and line work on the map. Both of these options are available under the Tools menu on the main map panel.


High Resolution Background

May 3, 2012 in Updates

We have significantly increased the detail of our background by using the highest available resolution SRTM data.

For example, the old background around Rome looks like the following:









While the new background looks like this:


Feature Updates and Upgrades

April 3, 2012 in News, Updates

Due in no small part to feedback from CAMWS, our main application (not the Greece demo) now has a host of new features and upgrades including:

  • A more powerful search. The search function takes any language and capitalization on the full names list from Pleiades and the AWMC. N.B. That searching in Greek requires correct accents and breathings.
  • The ability to create a new feature anywhere on the map.
  • The ability to edit feature attributes.
  • A button to add all the results of a search to the map at once.
  • A button to remove all features from the map.
  • Expanded map symbology.

We welcome feedback on the map, the new features, or anything else concerning the application.