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2002-2003 Annual Report

January 24, 2018 in Report


The 2002-2003 ancient year has been a busy and successful one for the Ancient World Mapping Center. Several efforts have seen significant advancement including our Maps for Students Project, which publishes free educational maps via the world-wide wide (www.unc.edu/awmc/downloads) and our collaboration with the Department of Computer Science to develop a multimedia map use system for the visually impaired (www.cs.unc.edu/Research/assist/bats). New features have also been added to the AWMC website including a weekly “books received” section. Web site traffic statistics indicate that web-publication is effective: the site receives an average of 200 substantive visits (5 or more pages viewed) per day, with 60% of those users spending more than 5 minutes on the site.

We continue to make good progress in establishing an infrastructure for the maintenance and regular update of the information originally published in the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. The Center’s website now provides nine substantive update notices. Some thirty more are in preparation. The Center is now capable of preparing digital images of the Barrington Atlas maps with a high degree of color fidelity and with significantly smaller file sizes that improve system performance. The Center has also been successful in registering these images for use in geographic information systems (GIS). We are presently working with Princeton University Press and the American Philological to plan for the release of a Digital Barrington Atlas. We have recently begun the conversion of the Atlas Project’s bibliographic records and the transfer of Map-by-Map Directory information to a database, with completion expected by the end of summer 2004.

The Center is also contributing to Carolina’s teaching mission. Maps for Students maps are in use in a number of History and Classics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We provided a customized map of Roman Spain for use in a graduate epigraphy course in Fall 2002. In the spring term of 2004, Professors Talbert and Grant Parker (Duke University Classics) will be teaching a concurrent research graduate seminar on the theme Space and Place in the Ancient World. The Center’s director, Tom Elliott, will also be teaching an undergraduate research course on “Roman Roads, Itineraries and Land Travel,” partially funded by the Department of History.

We continue to make good progress in developing an endowment to support the Center’s core operations and staff. Major gifts this fiscal year were provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and UNC-CH alumnus Mark Clein. We also received the second installment in a three-year pledge from the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation, as well as numerous smaller donations. We are grateful for their essential support. Next year’s target is the largest yet: $750,000. Reaching this target will release an additional $187,500 from our National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, and these funds together will permit the Center to operate the following year without direct support from the College. Donors and supporters at all levels are eagerly sought. Interested parties may contact Tom Elliott at awmc@unc.edu or (919) 962-0502.

More information about the Center’s activities and fundraising efforts may be found on the website at www.unc.edu./awmc.

Tom Elliott


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