New Features – Linking to Maps Part 2

November 1, 2012 in Updates

The remainder of our linking code was completed much sooner than we anticipated, so this post outlines more options for linking to a customized À-la-carte map. All of our linking options are detailed at this page, which we will update as this functionality continues to expand.

You can now link to À-la-carte using feature names, Pleiades IDs, or through a json string, all of which are explained below.

Linking Through a Feature Name

Simply append the following to the url:


So, to link to a map with Athens already placed on it, your url would look like the following:

This parameter behaves exactly like the search function in the main application, so placing a partial name (i.e. pergam for Pergamum: will return all places that have pergam in their name. Similarly, setting the parameter to Alexandria ( will place all locations named Alexandria on the map.


Linking Through a Pleiades ID

Just like the name parameter, linking via a Pleiades ID is a simple matter. Just place the Pleiades ID after the ?pid=  parameter (you can obtain a Pleiades ID for a feature from À-la-carte, Pelagios, or directly from Pleiades). For example, the Pleiades ID for Athens is: 579885. The URL to link to an À-la-carte map of this id is:

Note that, unlike the names parameter, the pid parameter will only return one feature. This is very useful if you only want to display a specific feature on the map.


Linking Through json

This option gives you the most control and flexibility when linking to À-la-carte, and is extremely useful for mapping existing projects.  Do not be intimidated by the format, as json is designed to be human readable and is easily modified. It is simply a formated list and is trivial to make from any source of names or Pleiades IDs.

You three main choices when sending json to À-la-carte:

  1. A list of names
  2. A list of Pleiades IDs
  3. “Raw” json directly from Pleiades

All of these options share the same parameter: jsonGet


Linking Through json: Names

For this, the json should look like the following:

{“names”:[{"name":somename], {“name”:”some other name”}]}

So, for a list of Alexandria, Athens, Rome, and Sparta the json is:

{“names”: [{"name": "Alexandria"}, {"name": "Athens"}, {"name": "Rome"}, {"name": "Sparta"}]}

Simply add


to the front of your json string and append this to the url, as in the following example:{“names”: [{"name": "Alexandria"}, {"name": "Athens"}, {"name": "Rome"}, {"name": "Sparta"}]}

You will now see all of the places populated on the map. Once again, this behaves exactly like the search function on the map, so you may get multiple results for a single place name.


Linking Through json: Pleiades IDs

This functionality is nearly identical to the names discussed above, although it uses different keys in the json string.

The json should follow this format:

{“pids”: [{"pid": "somepid"}, {"pid": "some other pid"}]}

A potential pid list should look like the following:

{“pids”: [{"pid": "30205"}, {"pid": "876562"}, {"pid": "422995"}, {"pid": "550812"}]}

Simply add


to the front of your .son string and append this to the url, as in the following example:{“pids”: [{"pid": "30205"}, {"pid": "876562"}, {"pid": "422995"}, {"pid": "550812"}]}

You will now see all of the places populated on the map.


Antiquity À-la-carte 2.0

October 31, 2012 in News, Updates

Antiquity À-la-carte 2.0

The Ancient World Mapping Center is pleased to release version 2.0 of the Antiquity à la Carte application. Version 1.0 appeared in spring 2012 and served as a proof of concept for the mapping application. The application, engineered by Ryan Horne, provides the user with a map base that can be populated by drawing on the collective databases of the Ancient World Mapping Center and the Pleiades Project. The new version, more fully featured, offers the user a range of new capabilities, including:

  • The option of saving data sets assembled using the application and that of uploading data to the map (.json).
  • Options for both printing and exporting the map created using the application; combining the export functionality with the ‘numbered features’ option provides an ideal template for a map-based quiz or examination.
  • Version 2.0 makes extensive use of linked data opportunities by connecting to the Pleiades Project and participating in the linked data initiatives of the Pelagios Project. For Pleiades community editors and members, editing of Pleaides can happen directly by means of this interactive feature of the application.
  • Version 2.0 offers an updated visual interface and site layout.
  • Version 2.0 allows other websites to communicate directly with the application using .json objects or text parameters in the url.
  • Version 2.0 allows the user to create a range of line work, polygons, and shading that then appear in the exported version.

These are but a few of the new features offered by Antiquity à la Carte 2.0. We encourage feedback from members of the community who use the application – your comments will help AWMC improve the application. Users can also become registered members of this site and thus be able to closely follow the discussion and receive word of further updates.

AWMC is especially grateful to the invaluable assistance provided by our colleague Joe Ryan of UNC ITS Research Computing.


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.



Database Upgrade

October 15, 2012 in News

We are upgrading our database software, so elements of the application (mostly the feature search functionality) may be down temporarily.


Server move finished

October 13, 2012 in News

We have finished porting our map to the new server. The application should be working as normal.


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.


Moving to the new server

October 12, 2012 in News, Site Information

As we move our map data to the new server the application may be temporarily down. Check back shortly, as we should have everything up again soon.


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.