Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mapping GRBPIlion

I continue to be interested in using the Atom Syndication Format, Georss, KML and Google's mapping tools to express the geographic component of data related to the ancient Mediterranean. These formats are all simple, well-documented and xml-based so that Greek, Roman and Byzantine Pottery at Ilion (Troia), in which we try to use open standards, is a good test-bed for trying out ideas.

To cut to the chase, the following URLs show what I'm up to:Clicking on the Google Maps link shows a browser-embedded map with a short list of sites on the left. It's early yet, but that list will expand. Regardless, clicking on a site name on the left will bring up a text-bubble pointing to the right place on the map. Within the bubble are one or more links to relevant pages on the GRBPIlion website. Imagine more dots and you get the idea.

The implementation is pretty simple but should give me flexibility going forward. There are three basic components. The file "geography.atom" defines geographic entities. If you look inside you'll see that I derive unique IDs from the Barrington Atlas, so Gaza is "". In doing so, I follow the suggestions of Tom Elliot of ISAW. Looking inside "groups.xml" - which instantiates concepts such as "African Red Slip" for rendering into html - shows that a few such groups make reference to these geographic entities. Search for 'rel="geographic"' to see what I mean. Finally, I munge those two files into "grbpilion.kml", which can be shown directly in Google Earth or via Google Maps using the URLs listed above.

The xslt that does the munging is "kml.xsl". It's pretty ugly right now but it works so will do for the short term.

At a more abstract level, I can theoretically put elements such as '<link rel="geographic" href="" />' anywhere in the publication. Right now I only implement this idea in groups.xml but I look forward to extending this system to individual sherd descriptions and to the bibliography.

No comments: