Please feel free to contribute more questions in the comments section.

What kind of organization is AWMC?

  • Answer: The Ancient World Mapping Center is an interdisciplinary research center in the Department of History of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. AWMC promotes cartography, historical geography and geographic information science as essential disciplines within the field of ancient studies through innovative and collaborative research, teaching, and community outreach activities. AWMC is currently staffed by an interim director and a small group of student cartographic research assistants. (see Affiliates). The AWMC Advisory Board provides guidance and support to the center’s mission.

How can I commission AWMC to prepare original map content to accompany my work?

  • Answer: AWMC routinely prepares cartographic materials on a commissioned basis for scholarly publication; a list of previous commissioned projects may be found on this site. Commissioned map work is undertaken in close consultation with the commissioning author. Modest fees for production and licensing apply. Consult the AWMC Director for more information. Detailed instructions for the map-making process appear here.

What should I do if I want to license a map produced by AWMC for publication in a scholarly forum?

  • Answer: AWMC hosts a number of maps on this site that are available for use under the terms of the Creative Commons License. These maps also may be licensed for use in publications. Please consult the AMWC Director for licensing procedures and fees. n.b. AWMC cannot license third-party content, this includes the original images of the Tabula Peutingeriana which are property of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

Are there additional formats of the ‘free maps’ available?

  • Answer: AWMC is offering, on this site, .pdf versions of a number of free maps that are covered under the Creative Commons license (see above). If you wish to have another format for these maps (e.g. .jpf or .tiff), simply export the image file from the .pdf using Adobe Photoshop. As higher resolution versions cannot be provided, consult AWMC about custom map making to suit your need. An additional option is to utilize the Antiquity à la carte application to generate and export your own custom map content for non-commercial use.

Can you suggest resources for scholarly or classroom use relevant to the geography of the ancient world?

  • Answer: While AWMC cannot maintain a comprehensive listing of such resources, a basic listing for reference is furnished here. AWMC is happy to consult further on a case-by-case basis.

What can I do with special and/or local knowledge about ancient world geography?

  • Answer: If you wish to contribute your own specialist knowledge of ancient world geography to the research efforts of AWMC, we invite you to become involved in the Pleiades Project.

Can I order a copy of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World?

  • Answer: You can purchase the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World directly from Princeton University Press. The Map-by-Map Directory is also available for download.

Can I reproduce the content of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World?

Where should I send comments, corrections or critiques of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World?

  • Answer: The Ancient World Mapping Center has created a form to use for this purpose. You can find out more by visiting the Atlas update page.

Barrington Atlas CD-Rom and Mac OS

  • Question: “I have just purchased the Barrington Atlas with CD-ROM.  My computer does not recognize the disk.  I am able to open the disk on a much older Mac, but not on this one.  Can you tell me: is this a technical problem related to newer-generation Macs?  And is there a work-around for this problem?”
  • Answer: When Apple changed to OS X, it abandoned support for the format that was chosen for the CD-ROM.  In order to deal with this problem, Princeton University Press has posted a zip file containing the entire contents of the directory CD-ROM on its website.  The direct link to the file is here.

Are there GIS files derived from the Barrington Atlas and can I borrow them?

  • Answer: The Barrington Atlas was compiled and prepared for publication using a combination of cartographic technologies that included a small amount of GIS, plus digital cartography in Adobe Illustrator and a significant amount of film-and-photography-based cartography. The project began, and its early stages were undertaken, just ahead of the revolution in scientific desktop computing that altered geography and cartography through the wide availability of GIS and low-cost, high-performance computing platforms. Given the project’s ambitious research agenda and tight time schedule, starting over to accommodate GIS was not an option. There are, therefore, no source GIS files for the Barrington Atlas that can be reused.The atlas was printed digitally, and so there are raster images (digitally archived at the University of North Carolina) for each map. Currently, the AWMC is in discussion with various potential partners about an arrangement that would make some version of these available for use by third parties, and it may end up being the case that these will include geo-referencing information that would permit their viewing in a geographic information system. Please let us know if you would like to be informed when these plans firm up. The Pleiades Project (a joint undertaking of AWMC, the Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities, and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University) is engaged in feature extraction from the Atlas Project’s compilation materials. Digital vector data, suitable for use in GIS and “neographical” contexts like online map “mashups”, is being generated by this effort, and will be disseminated freely under open license as it becomes available. AWMC has developed shapefiles derived from the Barrington Atlas and hosts these as content related to the Antiquity À-la-carte Application. These shapefiles can be downloaded and used according to the terms of the Creative Commons License.

Why do I need to fill out affiliation and other fields when I register?

  • Answer: Those fields are in place in an effort to reduce and eliminate Spam registrations as they require comprehension by the registrant. It is also serves as a method for us to tailor the site and applications to users that find our resources useful.

How do I cite your map / resources?

  •  Answer: For resources in the API a suggested citation is provided.
  • For Shapefiles, The suggested citation is the following: Ancient World Mapping Center. “Shapefile name”. <http://awmc.unc.edu/wordpress/map-files/> [Accessed: April 23, 2013 11:00am]
  • For example, the citation for our coastline file should be: Ancient World Mapping Center. “Coastline”. <http://awmc.unc.edu/wordpress/map-files/> [Accessed: April 23, 2013 11:00am].
  • For maps created with the application we suggest something similar to the following:   Ancient World Mapping Center. “À-la-carte”. <http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/applications/alacarte/> [Accessed: April 23, 2013 11:00am].   You may also wish to save a .json file of any created maps to reproduce your data on demand.





2 responses to FAQ

  1. Other than road networks, are there any maps on your site that are not just blanks? Finding anything useful is quite difficult. I am a historian, not a coder.

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