Thursday, July 29, 2010

EpiDoc Tools Released "as is"

If you visit you'll now find readily downloadable releases of the following EpiDoc tools:
  • Guidelines
  • P5 Conversion Tools
  • Transcoder
  • Example P5 XSLTs
  • Example P4 XSLTs (deprecated; last/final release)
  • DTD (deprecated; last/final release)
  • Schema
  • CHETC JavaScript
These releases reflect the current state of code or documentation as it is to be found in our SVN repository. All of the tools have had README.txt files added in order to help the person downloading them figure out what they are and how to start using them. They also all have LICENSE.txt files that spell out the terms under which they are distributed. If you want to see our agenda, feel free to visit:

Some of these packages are out-of-date or not feature-complete (e.g., especially the guidelines). We'll want to marshal volunteers in coming weeks and months to work on these discrepancies. There is in fact, already a group working hard on the guidelines. If you're not part of that group and would like to be, please shout out about it on the markup list.

My hearty thanks to Gabriel Bodard, Hugh Cayless and Charlotte Tupman, who assisted in today's sprint, and to Marion Lame, who also volunteered but could not be available during the time that I had scheduled.

Our next big step is to update so that it properly reports on the state of each tool and links directly to the appropriate release. I'll be issuing a call for volunteers for that follow-up sprint shortly.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Linking to Google Books Content in an Ancient Geographic Way

I'm very interested in finding ways through Pleiades and other ISAW digital projects to support the efforts of Leif, Elton and Eric on the "Google Ancient Places (GAP): Discovering historic geographical entities in the Google Books corpus" project. In particular, I'd hope we can integrate this into the web interfaces for our projects:

ECS will work on a Web Service and Web Widget [that] will make it possible for Webmasters to add links to the ancient texts [in Google Books] within their websites, enabling the public and researchers to search for them easily.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Classics Librarian" Blog (Phoebe Acheson) added to Maia Atlantis

I was pleased to discover Phoebe Acheson's blog Classics Librarian via a twitter follow. Herein the University of Georgia Library's liaison to the Department of Classics there writes about such topics as resources for the study of Roman topography and tutorials for Dyabola (the bibliographic database of the German Archaeological Institute), while making the occasional alllusion to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

New Pleiades Screencast: Add a New Place Manually

I've just posted a new screencast that, in less than 5 minutes, shows you had to draft a new, rudimentary place resource in Pleiades without recourse to Google Earth or other external tools. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Added Blogging Pompeii to Maia Atlantis

I don't know how it's possible that I've been unaware of the Blogging Pompeii blog all this time. Thanks to a post on the ever-vigilant David Meadows' Rogue Classicism blog, my cluelessness has been rectified. And of course I've added Blogging Pompeii's feed to the Maia Atlantis aggregator.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Planet Taygete update

I just learned, thanks to a blog post at the old blog, that the website and blog for the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon has moved but not put any standard redirects in place at the old blog or feed. I've updated the subscription list for Taygete Atlantis to point at the new source, where I see there are a large number of posts (since early June) that I had missed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Featured Pleiades Content: Strophades/Plotai Inss. and the "Pont Julien"

Today we've published two updates to the content in Pleiades.

Sean Gillies has contributed updated coordinates and descriptive information for the so-called Pont Julien, a Roman bridge (ancient name, if any, unknown), located to the west of Apta Iulia (mod. Apt) in France. It had been indicated on Barrington Atlas Map 15 E2). The point coordinates Sean provides, as you'll see from the KML if you've got Google Earth, are more precise than the BAtlas map could provide given its scale of 1:500,000 (+/- 930 meters). Their derivation from Google Earth and Geoeye imagery is described in the associated accuracy assessment.

With help from Brian Turner and Richard Talbert, I've remedied an oversight in the Barrington Atlas: the omission of the Στροφάδες/Strophades islands. We'd originally addressed this oversight back in 2003, when I still worked for the Ancient World Mapping Center, having been alerted to the problem by Rick LaFleur. After Sean loaded the legacy information associated with BAtlas Map 1 into Pleiades, I started working on a place resource as well. In so doing, I dug a bit deeper and discovered the ancient tradition of an alternate, earlier name for this peculiar island group: Πλωταί/Plotae. Once again, Google Earth provided us with better coordinates, although not this time without some confusion (see the associated accuracy assessment and the map on the main resource page). I was also able to exploit the greater flexibility provided by Pleiades to enumerate all the attested name variants (including an ethnikon asserted by Stephanus of Byzantium), in their original orthography, and to provide citations of most of the relevant attestations of same in ancient literature.

It's great to see Pleiades moving closer to full-spectrum use. We're no longer just bringing material forward from the Classical Atlas Project, we're also publishing new, more accurate and complete information. I hope that soon you'll be seeing more of this sort of thing, with contributions by a widening community. You can be part of this community, if you're interested: here's how.

Thanks to all, including our editors, who helped get these resources ready to publish.

Transliterating Greek (and Latin)

A thread on classics-l led to a request by Daniel Riaño that we should release the code we use in Pleiades to transliterate Greek. This code also can be used to verify that a string contains only valid UTF-8 characters for Greek (and also for Latin), prior to running the transliteration. Thanks to Sean's help, it's now released on pypi under a BSD license. Coptic's next.

Share and enjoy!