BAtlas IDs: 10 more maps

README file for Barrington Atlas Identifiers, version published 2007-07-22
Reference URL:

New maps covered in this release: 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60
List of all maps presently covered: 22, 35, 36, 37, 38, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 65, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80

Major classes of change from prior versions are listed below. Consult individual files named like map22-diff.txt for output files differencing from prior version to this version.

* Still suppressing ID creation for roads; have also added suppression for "coastal change" (so far only seen in Map 53)
* No changes to previously issued files in this release

Fall Institute in Digital Libraries and Humanities 2008

Just noted by way of TEI-L:

Announcing: FIDLH the Fall Institute in Digital Libraries and Humanities

in Atlantic Canada at the University of New Brunswick
Electronic Text Centre at UNB Libraries
September 25th, 26th, and 27th
Cost: $300.00


Thursday September 25th
  • Open Journal Systems (OJS) for electronic journal management
  • Institutional Repositories
Friday September 26th
  • XML for journal articles
  • XML for primary source texts
  • XML for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)
Saturday September 27th
  • Data Conversion and Digital Imaging
Also featuring talks by Atlantic Canada researchers including:
  • Richard Cunningham, Acadia University
  • Margaret Conrad, CRC, University of New Brunswick
  • Tony Tremblay, CRC, Saint Thomas University

Delta Hotel
Special Institute rate until by August 25th

Details will follow soon. For more information email Susan Oliver or Lisa Charlong

Kostis Kourelis on GIS and Greek history

Kostis Kourelis has recently posted the third entry (Mapping Eleia) in an interesting series on toponyms, archaeology and GIS. There's no distinctive tag, so I'll explicitly link to the two previous posts as well:
He makes some useful observations about the challenges of working with historical GIS, including sourcing spatial data, tracking name changes and appropriations, addressing the shifting locations of particular conceptual places, navigating the influence of politics (both past and present) and handling issues of languages, scripts and transliteration.

Apropos language, script and transliteration there are many things to consider. It's in this domain of course that the simple, flat-file approach to GIS often breaks down, particularly given the problems of change over time and of fragmentary witnesses. For Pleiades -- which was designed with an object-oriented data model -- we record individual name variants, each of which has a language-and-script combination, an "original script" representation (using Unicode) and a transliteration. We can have as many names assigned to a given "place" as we have variants (or theories).

We have our own slightly idiosyncratic transliteration scheme for classical Greek (inherited from the Barrington Atlas; one of the major benefits of Pleiades is the ability to add back the original orthography). We could easily add multiple transliteration schemes (and the corresponding strings generated programmatically from the Unicode Greek). We may well need such a development when we move, as we eventually must, to include historical toponymy in Arabic (where both past and present variation in transliteration schemes renders even recent bibliography a veritable maze).

If you're trying to do this ArcGIS, you'll probably have to set up a relational database or manage a series of joined tables manually.

BAtlas IDs update: IDs for 9 more maps

README file for Barrington Atlas Identifiers, version published 2007-07-21
Reference URL:

New maps covered: 35, 36, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80

Major classes of change from prior versions are listed below. Consult individual files named like map22-diff.txt for output files differencing from prior version to this version.

* No changes from prior versions beyond the addition of data for new maps.

New Aggregator: Ancient Inscriptions (Merope)

I've added a new feed aggregator: Merope Atlantis. This one grabs up feeds from three different Flickr groups in which some very good pictures of inscriptions are regularly being posted:

I hope soon that it will also begin to include images and texts posted elsewhere.

BAtlas ID update: add map 55, more fixes


  • Eliminated duplication/collision problems with alias id values. Although the combination of label + map number + grid square is almost perfectly unique across the entire atlas, the same cannot be said for features not appearing on the maps (like "unlocated" and "false" toponyms), nor for alternative aliases, such as those created for individual constituent names in a multi-name label. Where possible, these collisions are eliminated by adding a one-up numbering scheme (postfixed) on the id, or by omitting non-primary alias alternatives where necessary. The one-up postfix numbers are also reflected in matching captions (in parentheses).
  • Corrected initial two-capitals error in geographic names and associated captions generated when a parenthetical variant indication leads the toponym (e.g., (L)Ibida, which should produce the variants "Libida" and "Ibida", not "LIbida" and "Ibida".
  • Captions for "group" features now read like "aqueduct group" instead of "aqueduct-group".
  • Suppress serialization of a few redundant captions

Open Antiquist

Hooray for the organizers and members of Antiquist, who today have implemented their decision to convert the archives of their discussion list (which goes back to September 2006) from private to public! Antiquist describes itself as:

An online community of people working with computing in the heritage sector.

Antiquist is primarily a communication network - a way for us to talk, argue, experiment, share ideas, and solve common problems.

BAtlas ID update: add map 37, various fixes

Latest XML in

I've added a read-me file, as well as text files containing diffs between previous and current versions of the individual xml files. The readme file says:

  • altered citations so that location descriptions for unnamed features are enclosed in parentheses
  • fixed bug in processing of fragmentary, unreconstructable geognames so that lacunae are signaled with parentheses around ellipsis (...) instead of ellipsis alone; also, mark them correctly as completeness="non-reconstructable" instead of type="variant"
  • remove inverted quotes from geogname variants and instead mark them as accuracy="inaccurate"
  • handle group notation in location description for unnamed features like aqueducts and villas so that, e.g., Map-by-Map directory entry in Aqueducts for map 22 C5 with location description "Nicopolis ad Istrum (2)" becomes "aqueduct-group-nicopolis-ad-istrum-22-c5" instead of "aqueduct-nicopolis-ad-istrum-2-22-c5"; this also adds a new element child of indicating the number of features associated with the group.