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New Public Map Tiles and Antiquity À-la-carte 3.0 Beta

February 3, 2014 in Antiquity À-la-carte, API, Benthos, E-resource, Interest, News, Pleiades Project, Site Information

All layers

The Base Map tiles with road overlays

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 TalbertJeffrey Becker, Ryan Horne, Ross Twele, Audrey JoRay 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.


The area surrounding Miletus with different water levels based on time period

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.

You can see the tiles in action in our API (see, for example, the Urban Area of Rome), the new Beta Version of Antiquity à la Carte 3.0, and at the Pleiades Project.






Southern Spain with different base layers and road tile overlays in À-la-carte 3.0

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.

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User Registration

January 22, 2014 in News, Site Information

New user registration has been restored (it was temporarily shut down due to bot attacks).

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Gazetteer functionality in À-la-carte

December 11, 2013 in Antiquity À-la-carte, News

It has come to our attention that the gazetteer functionality in À-la-carte was down. It has been fixed and should be functioning as normal.


New “History of Cartography” resource in Oxford Bibliographies Online

December 2, 2013 in E-resource, Interest, News, Publication

Picture 2

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.


New publication of interest: A Brief History of the Romans, 2nd ed by Boatwright, Gargola, Lenski, and Talbert

October 31, 2013 in Interest, News, Publication

brief_romans_2_ed_coverThe second edition of A Brief History of the Romans by M. T. Boatwright, D. Gargola, N. Lenski, and R. J. A. Talbert is now available from Oxford University Press, featuring new map content generated by the Ancient World Mapping Center.  A companion website, www.oup.com/us/boatwright, is forthcoming.


Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World for iPad 2+

October 31, 2013 in E-resource, Interest, News, Publication

Home pagePrinceton 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.

UPDATE 2:  The Roman archaeology blog [quem dixere chaos] has posted a long review of the app, with several screenshots and summaries of the app’s functionalities.



Upcoming ISAW exhibition: Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity

September 13, 2013 in Interest, News, Presentation

MappingThe Institute for the Study of the Ancient World has announced its next exhibition, Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity, to be held October 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014.  For further information, visit the exhibition website at http://isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions.


UPDATE:  John Noble Wilford has written a piece about the exhibition for the New York Times “Science” section: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/science/legacy-of-greco-roman-mapmaking.html


New publication of interest: Reflectance Transformation Imaging of a ‘Byzantine’ portable sundial by Bevan, Lehoux, and Talbert

September 4, 2013 in Interest, News, Publication

George Bevan and Daryn Lehoux of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, CA and Richard Talbert of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have published a new article, Reflectance Transformation Imaging of a ‘Byzantine’ portable sundial, in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 187 (2013).  This article should be of special interest to RTI enthusiasts and to anyone curious about the application of digital photography methods to ancient history and archaeology.  It is an illustration of the remarkable advances that RTI can provide over autopic examination alone.  The article will not be available for Open Access download until one year after initial publication.

UPDATE:  A .pdf file of the article is provided here: ZPE 187-bevan-lehoux-talbert

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Registration Questions

August 8, 2013 in Site Information

We have received several queries about registration for the site and its effect on application functionality. User registration is for WordPress portions of the website only (i.e. commenting on posts, creating groups, increased interaction with the blog, etc) and was implemented to cut down on spam and bot attacks against the server.

Registration has no effect on our applications, the API, or the free download of our data, as none of these applications have the ability to distinguish between an anonymous and a registered user. These applications will always have the same basic functionality for anyone that uses our site.

For those wishing to register and interact with the blog portions of the site, registration will be enabled after August 19th.


Possible service interruptions

June 30, 2013 in Site Information

Power supply issues in Chapel Hill NC could affect the functionality of the server hosting this site.