Tuesday 24 June 2014

What Have the Romans Ever Mapped for Us? Results from the Latin Geographic Tradition

Having recently completed our first content workpackage (CWP1), dedicated to Early Geospatial Documents from the Latin Tradition, we'd like to take this opportunity to share the annotation data that we've compiled so far. Overall we have completed annotating place references in 33 documents (41 if we include additional language versions of the same document). Within these documents, we've identified 19,880 toponyms, and were able to establish mappings to Pleiades in 15,721 cases (79%).

Spatial distribution of toponyms annotated in CWP1 - Latin Tradition

You can find the complete list of our documents, along with a download link for the data, below. The annotations are stored in CSV format - i.e. they can be opened in a spreadsheet application, or imported into a database or GIS.

An additional part of our work in CWP1 (which will be important too for all our content work packages) has been to identify additional relevant documents as we go along. Our list of "geospatial documents" has therefore grown quite substantially. We have included these documents in our annotation tool Recogito. You can follow their status directly on Recogito's Latin Tradition landing page.

Now that we have finished work on the first of our six traditions, we are keen to get your feedback. In particular:

  1. We look forward to seeing what and how you make use of these data. We're sure that you'll use them in ways that we can't anticipate, and we'd love you to share that with us!
  2. The large number of documents, the ambiguity of the evidence and the comparatively short space of time mean that some of our identifications will inevitably be wrong or open to debate. We are planning a mechanism to allow people to suggest alternative suggestions or to indicate agreement and disagreement. In the meantime, feel free to contact us if you have proposals for corrections. We're also happy to hear suggestions for other early latin geographic documents which we may have missed.
  3. Since, as we expected, we could not fully annotate or geo-resolve all of our documents, we're interested in hearing from people who might be willing to join us in the challenge. If you would like to join in and help find places in the incomplete documents, feel free to get in touch and we may be able to provide you with a Recogito account. We'll have to roll this out slowly since Recogito is not a 'community tool' as such (with features such as full moderation, user profiles, etc) so please be aware that there may be a wait if we get a lot of volunteers!