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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Duane W. Roller’s remarkable new English translation of Strabo’s Geography is now available from Cambridge University Press ( ISBN: 9781107038257; e-book ISBN: 9781139950374). To accompany it, the Center has produced a seamless, interactive online map which is accessible free: http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/strabo. The map is built on the Antiquity À-la-carte interface, and has immense coverage because it plots all the locatable geographical and cultural features mentioned in the 17 books of this fundamentally important Greek source – over 3,000 of them, stretching from Ireland to the Ganges delta and deep into north Africa. In the e-version of the translation, the gazetteer offers embedded hyperlinks to each toponym’s stable URI within the digital module, making it possible to move directly between Strabo’s text and its cartographic realization.
The AWMC is proud to announce the release of a series of geographically accurate, publicly accessible map tiles (http://awmc.unc.edu/wordpress/tiles/ ), suitable for use in nearly any web mapping application or GIS software suite. These tiles are hosted on Mapbox servers courtesy of ISAW, and are created by Ryan Horne from AWMC data produced by Richard Talbert, Jeffrey Becker, Ryan Horne, Ross Twele, Audrey Jo, Ray Belanger, Steve Burges, Luke Hagemann, Ashley Lee, and others.
Offering the first (and at the time of this writing, only) geographically accurate base map of the ancient world, the AWMC tiles conform to the broad periodization presented in the Barrington Atlas, with different selectable water levels for the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique Periods. In addition, we also model inland water, rivers, and other geographical features as they appeared in antiquity. The base tiles are culturally agnostic, allowing them to be used to represent the physical environment of nearly any ancient society in the Mediterranean world. In addition to the base map and geographical tiles we also present the Roman road network, generally following the Barrington Atlas with additional work by the AWMC. Like all of our other electronic offerings, our new tiles are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) license and remain absolutely free for personal, academic, and non-commercial use.
For guidelines on how to use the tiles in an application, please visit http://awmc.unc.edu/wordpress/tiles/map-tile-information. These tiles are a “living” data set, and will be constantly refined to reflect the ongoing work of the AWMC. We welcome feedback on any aspect of this work and we encourage the community to suggest enhancements, fixes, or any other comments on our dedicated site.
Along with our tiles, The Ancient World Mapping Center is also releasing a beta version of Antiquity à la Carte 3.0 (http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/carte-transitional/). The application, engineered by Ryan Horne, builds upon the two previous iterations of À-la-carte, which appeared in Spring 2012 and October of the same year. Continuing to draw upon the work of the Ancient World Mapping Center and the Pleiades Project, the updated version will incorporate the new AWMC Mapping tiles, along with the expanded features first introduced in v. 2.0. Until the beta version is stable with all of the previous functionality enabled, À-la-carte version 2.0 will remain operational at http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/alacarte/ . In the meantime, we welcome any feedback on the beta version as we endeavor to create an application that is useful to the ancient world community. We are particularly excited that our new tiles allow us to feature modern data alongside our ancient offerings, which will open many new possibilities and applications for À-la-carte.
Matthew Edney, director of the History of Cartography Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has produced an annotated bibliography on “History of Cartography” for Oxford Bibliographies Online under the subject “Geography”. This bibliography includes: General Overviews; Overviews by Period and Culture; The Field of Study; Technical Aspects of Map Making; Map Forms; Cartographic Modes or Ways of Acting with Maps; Government, Politics, and Cartography; Commerce, Public Discourse, and Identity Mapping; and Maps and Historical Practice.
Princeton University Press and the Ancient World Mapping Center are pleased to announce the release of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World app for iPad 2+ on November 21, 2013. For the full press release and screenshots of the app, see http://blog.press.princeton.edu/barrington-atlas-of-the-greek-and-roman-world-app-available-november-21-2013/
UPDATE: The final release date for this app is Monday, December 2.
The Ancient World Mapping Center is pleased to announce the rollout of a new application programming interface (API) that allows users to interact directly with the center’s database. The API can be found here and documentation related to the API can be found at the ‘API Documentation’ tab. The API allows the user access to all of the center’s geographical information, both physical and cultural. This would allow the user, for instance, to pull geographic data from the center’s database directly into a standalone mapping project. Just as with Antiquity À-la-carte, the data is released under the terms of the Creative Commons License. AWMC welcomes (and encourages!) user feedback.
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.
Recently a number of excellent online geographic compendia to archaeological sites have begun to appear on the web. These sites take advantage of the possibilities of linked data and the functionality of GIS-oriented interfaces, allowing the user to access both cartographic (spatial) and contextual information. Not only are such sites stimulating – both visually and intellectually – but they provide a vital service in creating online compendia that allow a wider public to know about and appreciate cultural heritage sites and, in particular, to be made aware of the degree to which many such sites find themselves in peril, whether due to neglect, open warfare or diminishing budgetary resources. Such compendia can, hopefully, encourage all of us to be better stewards of our cultural heritage and, perhaps, the web can be a place to cut across nationalistic boundaries. Chuck Jones recently profiled online e-resources for maps on his AWOL blog – a valuable listing that everyone should bookmark. Furthermore, our partner project Pleaides and our colleagues at the Pelagios Project continue to lead the way in creating stable identifiers for linked ancient world data, enabling online collaboration in the form of a geographic lingua franca. Hopefully stewardship – and its increasingly important place online – benefits from the efforts to develop and maintain these resources.
We’d like to here highlight a few notable sites in the vein discussed above.
- La carte nationale des sites archéologiques et des monuments historiques, Tunisie; La carte nationale des sites archéologiques et des monuments historiques : feuilles 1/50 000
- MEGAJordan: A State-of-the-Art System for Jordan’s Archaeological Sites
- Mappa dei Monumenti del Centro Storico di Roma
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Portable Antiquities Scheme