One User's Experience with Pleiades
I just finished posting an extended comment on Hethre Contant's consideration of her initial experiences with Pleiades, entitled "Regarding the Pleiades: A Vision of the Future for Mapping the Past." She prepared it as a report for an Urban Media Archaeology class at New School University, taught by Shannon Mattern.
I assume my comment is in queue for moderation. Since I think it (and Heathre's report) are of potential interest to the Pleiades community, I'm re-posting my comments here:
Thanks for giving us your perspective as a new user of Pleiades. It's really helpful to hear how people are trying to use this emerging resource and to see where they run into trouble.
The delay in signing you up initially is an occasional consequence of the fact that our signup procedure is manual and occasionally the editors are unavailable while on travel or the like. I apologize if it put you in a difficult situation time-wise.
We currently have funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support software and content development through April 2013, but editorial work is all volunteer.
We're not finished loading up all the legacy content from the Barrington Atlas. You can read more about the state of that process here: http://pleiades.stoa.org/Members/sgillies/news-items/data-import-round-1 with maps here: http://pleiades.stoa.org/Members/sgillies/figures-import-round-1 .
Since you last looked at the site, Sean has rolled out some improvements to the individual maps. They now show you nearby places as well. See further: http://pleiades.stoa.org/Members/sgillies/news-items/map-of-a-places-neighborhood .
The squares you see on the maps for many places correspond to the grid squares on the Barrington Atlas maps from which they derive. We are currently working with colleagues at Harvard, who have digitized the exact coordinates from the Barrington compilation materials and improved their precision by visually checking them in Google Earth. We anticipate these coordinates will be added to Pleiades by mid-2011, replacing the squares that frustrated you. We'll also have reciprocal links to the Harvard project's online system, the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization: http://darmc.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do
"Phokaia" is a transliteration of the ancient Greek, whereas "Phocaea" is the Latin version, used by the Romans and subsequently in the west during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. I'm glad Pleiades was able to help you sort this out, despite the fact that our resources do not yet comprehensively list all the variants for every site. This is something we're encouraging our users to help flesh out.
Please let us know if you have further observations or suggestions (or complaints) about the site.