Thursday, November 28, 2019

A convenient API for retrieving accurate elevation values

The elevation values for the sites in this atlas were recently updated from Google Earth values to values from the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) called ASTER_DGEMV3 which samples 1 arc second squares (30 m).

I've been wanting to do this for a long time but wasn't able to understand all the gyrations involved.  Happily I stumbled across the site called elevationapi.com which was created by Xavier Fischer.

This site is an interface to any one of several DEMs including my ASTER_DGEMV3.  It eliminates an enormous amount of work for those of us who aren't quite up to speed on Digital Elevation Models or map projections but really need a source of accurate elevation data.

I began by using this interface in a very simple and naive way.  This page  provides a simple web call that returns the elevation of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (you should experiment with this.  Copy and paste it into your browser URL window and hit 'return'.):

https://api.elevationapi.com/api/Elevation?lat=48.854624&lon=2.3436793&dataSet=SRTM_GL3 

or

https://api.elevationapi.com/api/Elevation?
lat=48.854624
&lon=2.3436793
&dataSet=SRTM_GL3

As you see it requires three arguments, lat, lon, and DEM name.  For DEM name I used: ASTER_GDEMV3 instead of SRTM_GL3/

https://api.elevationapi.com/api/Elevation?lat=48.854624&lon=2.3436793&dataSet=ASTER_GDEMV3

This call returns a JSON string with the elevation embedded (it's in the first line):

{"message":"OK","geoPoints"[{"latitude":48.854624,"longitude":2.3436793,"elevation":28.353599548339844}],"resultCount":1,"dataSet":{"name":"ASTER_GDEMV3","description":"ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model 1 arc second (30m)","publicUrl":"https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/products/astgtmv003",
"resolutionMeters":30,"noDataValue":-9999,"fileFormat":{"name":"GeoTiff file","fileExtension":".tif","type":1,"registration":0},"attribution":
{"text":"NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Spacesystems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model V003. 2018,
distributed by NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC, https://doi.org/10.5067/ASTER/ASTGTM.003"},"dataSource":{"indexFilePath":"ASTGTM.003.json",
"collectionId":"C1575726572-LPDAAC_ECS","isGlobalFile":false,"dataSourceType":3},"pointsPerDegree":3600}}

So ASTER_GDEMV3 returns an elevation of 28.35 m. where Google Earth returns either 33 or 34 m. depending on exactly where you put the cursor.

How do we handle the JSON?  All you really want is the elevation value.  But since we've been given a URL we're home free.  We can capture the return string using cURL and then use json_decode on the string.  I quickly wrote a program in PHP using cURL that incorporated the URL from elevationapi.com    Here's the nucleus of it:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
$URL = "https://api.elevationapi.com/api/Elevation?lat=$lat&lon=$lon&dataSet=ASTER_GDEMV3";       

// This ^ is the URL I want to send.  You will have had to have already filled in $lat and $lon with the desired values.

$ch1= curl_init();                                        // All of this is just  cURL stuff.  I changed nothing.
curl_setopt ($ch1, CURLOPT_URL, $URL );
curl_setopt($ch1, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_setopt($ch1,CURLOPT_VERBOSE,0);
curl_setopt($ch1, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, 'Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Media Center PC 4.0)');
curl_setopt ($ch1, CURLOPT_REFERER,'http://www.google.com');  //just a fake referer
curl_setopt($ch1, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch1,CURLOPT_POST,0);
curl_setopt($ch1, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, 20);

$htmlContent= curl_exec($ch1);        // this puts the entire returned string into a variable named $htmlContent

$ar = json_decode($htmlContent);                           // JSON decode

$newElev = $ar->geoPoints[0]->elevation;   // Fetch the elevation field

$newElev = round($newElev);                // Round the value (if you like)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That's all you need to do.  You can put this section in a loop which retrieves the lat/lon pairs from each DB.  You can follow it up with an insert back into the DB of the new elevation value.
I simply generate a sql statement and write it to a .sql file for execution later.  That code looks like this:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

$diff = $newElev - $oelev;     // I subtracted the old elevation from the newly returned one.  This is the 'error'.

if ($diff != 0)
{
echo "update site set ALT = $newElev where pk = '".$pk."' limit 1;";          // this generates a SQL update statement that I pipe to an external .sql file.    $pk ('place key') identifies the specific site
}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In this section $oelev is the old elevation value from the DB which I'm now going to replace with $newElev.

It looked to me as though the average error was on the order of 10 m.  And by looking at my own old data for elevation I discovered a few gross errors caused by me and not Google Earth.  Those are now corrected.

It always helps to review your data.

I'm very grateful to Mr. Fischer for building this site and then promptly and helpfully following up my questions on Twitter (@ElevationApi).  There is much more on this site including the ability to create 3D models of various terrains.

I know that I'm going to learn a great deal by scrutinizing this site carefully along with Mr. Fischer's helpful links.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae (Iakovidis [2003]) and how to overcome its limitations

I've received the Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae (Iakovidis et al. [2003]) and there's much to say about it.[1]

One of the first things I've done is to plot the chamber tombs and I wanted to describe how that was done on the chance that it might help others.  Conceptually this work is divided into two parts; one part deals just with the Citadel and the other part describes the surrounding countryside.  When I talk about the chamber tombs here I mean those outside the Citadel and in the country.  The maps for the outside regions are very good (1:2500).  There are 14 of these maps and each is divided into lettered squares that are 500 m. in length and width.  Individual sites are identified by their grid square designator plus a unique sequence number for each site in that square.  Their zero point is at UTM 673439.00 m E, 4179619.00 m N, 3  (37.747448 N, 22.968617 E)

The authors felt that their job was done at this point and they failed to supply a lat/lon pair for each feature and site.   Paradoxically they decided to show us where things are on a map.  But it's much more useful to be unambiguously told.  This is something which is crucial for any kind of Atlas and which they could easily have done.[2]

I wanted a precise lat/long pair for every site of significance before I added it to the Mycenaean Atlas Project.  I began this process by deriving lat/lon pairs for the upper left-hand corner for each indexed square.    I made this easier by setting Google Earth to UTM and worked entirely in meters (Tools>Options>Show lat/long and checking 'Universal Transverse Mercator').   I will supply the easting and northing for each index point later on in this post.  Once I had the index markers set up I needed a way to measure accurately from the edges of the squares to each site in turn. 

1. The vertices from the Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae. 
I have darkened the map to make the vertices more visible.
Ancient Mycenae is the blob outlined in orange in the center.


It was done like this:

a. Notice that the vertical distance between grid lines is ~ 103.3 mm.  The horizontal distance is 101 mm.   In order to convert vertical distances into meters requires multiplying the measured vertical distance in mm. by 4.84.  To convert measured horizontal distances in meters requires multiplying the measured horizontal distance in mm. by 4.95.

b. Measure the vertical and horizontal distances to your site

c. Enter these distances into a text file,  mysite.txt,  with this format:

pk, Upper Corner Vertex label, Item no, Name, VDist (mm), HDist (mm)
C8000, A3, 1, Vythisma S, 82, 74

Here the  pk can be anything - the program will ignore it.  In this example the Vythisma Chamber Tomb Complex is at square A3:1.  The explains the next two items.  They are not modified during execution but are used to label the output.  As is the next item which is the text string for the name - 'Vythisma S'.  The final two arguments are the offset in mm measured vertically from the horizontal square border and horizontally from the vertical square border.

You can add as many of these lines as you like to the input file.

d.  Run the program MSites.php (Listing 1).  This program opens mysite.txt,  reads it in, and converts each line to an easting/northing pair.  The output for 'Vythisma S' looks like this:

C8000, A3,  1,  Vythisma S, 654305.3, 4178721.3

This indicates that 'Vythisma S' (which I arbitrarily called 'C8000') which is item A3:1 in the Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae (Iakovidis et al. [2003]) is located at easting: 654305.3 and northing: 4178721.3.  The UTM zone for all of Greece is '34 S'.   

e. Now you can plot this point in Google Earth by creating a new point and entering the northing/easting/zone triple (set GE to UTM first).  Or you can go on to convert this triple into a regular (WGS84) lat/lon pair using one of the many UTM/WGS84 converters that you  can find on the web and then plotting your new point with this lat/lon  pair.   The lat/lon pair for Vythisma S (after conversion) is this: 37.74278838 N, 22.75134851 E

That's the sequence.  The text for the PHP program Msites.php is in Listing One.  It takes an input file of the measured distances to your sites of interest and returns a UTM easting/northing pair for each line in the input.

Also included in Listing 1 are all the UTM coordinates for the vertices in Iakovidis et al. [2003] that I've found necessary so far.

Listing 2  provides the file mysite.txt for the chamber tombs in the Mycenae region.

When you run this program against mysite.txt  you get the output in Listing 3  the lat/lon pairs (WGS84) for all the converted chamber tomb complexes

The result of plotting all the chamber tombs was, I thought, startling.  Here they are in Google Earth:

2. Chamber tomb complexes plotted.  Mycenae is the blue blob in the center.


3. The chamber tombs plotted in a low-angle which emphasizes how they surround the town of ancient Mycenae (M).


I plotted them in Topoguide also:

4. The Chamber Tombs show up as blue push-pins.  Ancient Mycenae is in the center.


Status: I am about to deliver version 1.015 of the database.  This will include some of the sites around Mycenae although there will be more to do after that.

When the Mycenae work is done the Mycenaean Atlas Project will go into maintenance mode.  I will always accept additions, corrections, and updates but the aggressive phase of coverage expansion has pretty much run its course.  I will respond immediately to anyone who suggests corrections and/or additions and I will be very grateful to receive them.

Remember: Friends don't let friends use Facebook.




NOTES

[1] Younger [2010].

[2] The authors make a  point of telling us that all the data for the maps was digitized. From the Preface, ix.: "Some 703 various remains of all periods of antiquity (tombs, buildings, roads, quarries) were located and plotted.  Their particulars (kind of monument, form, dimensions, construction, orientation, preservation, excavation data, bibliography etc.) were recorded and entered in an electronic data bank."

BIBLIO

Iakovidis et al. [2003]:  Spyros Iakovidis, Elizabeth B. French, Kim Shelton, Charalambos Ioannides, Anton Jansen, John Lavery, Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae.   The Archaeological Society at Athens Library, no. 229.  2003, ISBN: 960-8145-40-6.

Younger [2010]:  Younger, John, 'Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae; A Review', GNOMON, Vol. 82, 623-633.  2010.    Online here.





LISTING 1: MSites.php

<?php


// Each small array ($A3 etc.) holds the easting and northing for one vertex point in the Atlas.


$A3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4179119);
$A4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4179119);
$B2 = array("easting"=> 653439, "northing"=> 4178619);
$B3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4178619);
$B4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4178619);
$B5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4178619);
$C2 = array("easting"=> 653439, "northing"=> 4178119);
$C3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4178119);
$C4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4178119);
$C5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4178119);
$C7 = array("easting"=> 655939, "northing"=> 4178119);
$D2 = array("easting"=> 653439, "northing"=> 4177619);
$D3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4177619);
$D4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4177619);
$D5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4177619);
$D6 = array("easting"=> 655439, "northing"=> 4177619);
$E2 = array("easting"=> 653439, "northing"=> 4177119);
$E3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4177119);
$E4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4177119);
$E5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4177119);
$E6 = array("easting"=> 655439, "northing"=> 4177119);
$F2 = array("easting"=> 653439, "northing"=> 4176619);
$F3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4176619);
$F4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4176619);
$F5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4176619);
$F6 = array("easting"=> 655439, "northing"=> 4176619);
$G4 = array("easting"=> 654439, "northing"=> 4176119);
$G5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4176119);
$H3 = array("easting"=> 653939, "northing"=> 4175619);
$H5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4175619);
$H6 = array("easting"=> 655439, "northing"=> 4175619);
$J1 = array("easting"=> 652939, "northing"=> 4175119);
$J5 = array("easting"=> 654939, "northing"=> 4175119);

// This array ($idx) hold the coordinates for each labelled corner in the maps of Archaeological Atlas of Mycenae, Iakovidis et al. [2003].

$idx = array("A3"=>$A3, "A4"=>$A4,
"B2"=>$B2, "B3"=>$B3, "B4"=>$B4, "B5"=>$B5,
"C2"=>$C2, "C3"=>$C3, "C4"=>$C4, "C5"=>$C5, "C7"=>$C7,
"D2"=>$D2, "D3"=>$D3, "D4"=>$D4, "D5"=>$D5, "D6"=>$D6,
"E2"=>$E2, "E3"=>$E3, "E4"=>$E4, "E5"=>$E5, "E6"=>$E6,
"F2"=>$F2, "F3"=>$F3, "F4"=>$F4, "F5"=>$F5, "F6"=>$F6,
"G4"=>$G4, "G5"=>$G5,
"H3"=>$H3, "H5"=>$H5, "H6"=>$H6,
"J1"=>$J1, "J5"=>$J5
);


// Input file line looks like PK, DQID, iten number in quadrant, name, Vdist, Hdist.  Input file will be called 'mysite.txt'

// open the input file and read it in
$myfile = file('...\mysite.txt');   // open input file.  File is called mysite.txt.  Supply your own path to it.

// for each line in the input file do this ...

foreach ($myfile as $line_num => $line)
{

$larr = explode(',',$line);  // break up input line on commas

$pk = $larr[0];            // Place key.  Only used on output line as a convenience?
$DQID = $larr[1];          // Quadrant identifier, A4, C5, J1, etc.
$ItemInQuad = $larr[2];    // sequence number of this item in the quadrant
$pname = $larr[3];         // text string = name label
$Vdist = $larr[4];        // vertical distance in mm.
$Hdist = $larr[5];        // horizontal distance in mm.

// Convert vertical and horizontal distance in mm. to meters

$VdistC = 4.84 * $Vdist;  //  $Vdist is mm.  Convert to meters by multiplying by 4.84
$HdistC = 4.9505 * $Hdist;  // $Hdist is mm.  Convert to meters by multiplying by 4.9505

// Get the name of the quadrant and trim it

$DQID = substr($DQID, 1);    // There's a leading space in $DQID before the trim here.

// compute new easting and northing

$newEast  =    $idx[$DQID]["easting"] + $HdistC;
$newNorth =    $idx[$DQID]["northing"] - $VdistC;

// output the result

echo PHP_EOL."$pk, $DQID, $ItemInQuad, $pname, $newEast, $newNorth";

}        // loop over whole file

?>

LISTING  2: The input file, mysite.txt, which lists the distances (in mm.) from nearest grid lines to all the chamber tombs in the Mycenae region.

C8000, A3, 1, Vythisma S, 82, 74
C8001, A4, 1, Vythisma N, 29, 1.5
C8002, B2, 1, Batsourorachi, 80, 96.5
C8003, B3, 1, Loupouno, 51.5, 77.75
C8004, B3, 3, Asprokhoma W, 93.25, 78
C8005, B4, 2, Asprokhoma E (A/A), 87, 10
C8006, B4, 3, Asprokhoma E, 95.5, 19
C8007, B4, 14, Souleimani, 45, 76
C8008, B4, 18, Kapsala S, 93, 90
C8009, B5, 1, Kapsala N/Vlakhostrata, 48.5, 10
C8010, C2, 2, Batsourorachi SW, 72.5, 58
C8011, C3, 4, Koutsoumbela, 41.1, 49.5
C8012, C3, 8, Asprokhoma SW, 51, 89
C8013, C4, 1, Asprokhoma/Agriosykia, 8.25, 6
C8014, C4, 16, Paleogalaro, Lower, 92.5, 97
C8015, C5, 4, Paleogalaro E/Kapsala, 36.5, 47
C8016, C5, 8, Paleogalaro W, 29.8, 3
C8017, C7, 1, Gortsoula, 96, 4
C8018, D3, 5, Kato Fournos, 27, 32.5
C8019, D3, 9, Pezoulia, 33, 89
C8020, D3, 17, Ep. Pigadi/Fournodiaselo, 80.25, 56
C8022, E2, 1, Sfalakhtra, 61.5, 89.8
C8023, E3, 1, Ep. Pigadi/Fournodiaselo, 14, 58.5
C8024, E3, 3, Bouziati (Kalkani N Bank), 26.5, 34
C8025, E3, 4, Kalkani S Bank, 38, 24
C8026, E3, 7, Kalkani SW, 89, 20
C8027, E3, 13, Panagia, 30, 94.5
C8028, E3, 14, Ag. Georgios, 99, 91
C8029, E4, 4, Panagia, 11.5, 1
C8030, E4, 14, Third Km, 72.5, 25.7
C8031, F3, 1, Alepotrypa, 23.5, 32
C8032, F3, 1, Alepotrypa-Aspria, 23.5, 32
C8033, F3, 5, Ag. Georgios, 18, 99.5
C8034, F4, 1, Third Km, 2, 22.5
C8035, F4, 20, Sarra, 59, 40
C8036, G4, 7, Sarra, 87, 92
C8037, G4, 11, Tserania, 19.5, 47
C8038, G5, 2, Sarra, 24.5, 16
C8039, G5, 9, Gouves Cem?, 100, 42
C8040, H3, 2a, Priftiani, 61, 89.5
C8041, H5, 9, Plesia, 97.5, 83
C8042, H6, 4, Koufourachi, 60.5, 43
C8044, J5, 3, Plesia Rema, 20, 26.5
C8045, J5, 7, Plesia, 11, 88.5

LISTING 3: The result of running MSites.php. The outputs are UTM  pairs.

C8000, A3,  1,  Vythisma S, 654305.337, 4178721.3
C8001, A4,  1,  Vythisma N, 654446.42575, 4178978.35
C8002, B2,  1,  Batsourorachi, 653916.72325, 4178231
C8003, B3,  1,  Loupouno, 654323.901375, 4178369.225
C8004, B3,  3,  Asprokhoma W, 654325.139, 4178166.7375
C8005, B4,  2,  Asprokhoma E (A/A), 654488.505, 4178197.05
C8006, B4,  3,  Asprokhoma E, 654533.0595, 4178155.825
C8007, B4,  14,  Souleimani, 654815.238, 4178400.75
C8008, B4,  18,  Kapsala S, 654884.545, 4178167.95
C8009, B5,  1,  Kapsala N/Vlakhostrata, 654988.505, 4178383.775
C8010, C2,  2,  Batsourorachi SW, 653726.129, 4177767.375
C8011, C3,  4,  Koutsoumbela, 654184.04975, 4177919.665
C8012, C3,  8,  Asprokhoma SW, 654379.5945, 4177871.65
C8013, C4,  1,  Asprokhoma/Agriosykia, 654468.703, 4178078.9875
C8014, C4,  16,  Paleogalaro, 654896.92125, 4178119
C8015, C5,  4,  Paleogalaro E/Kapsala, 655171.6735, 4177941.975
C8016, C5,  8,  Paleogalaro W, 654953.8515, 4177974.47
C8017, C7,  1,  Gortsoula, 655958.802, 4177653.4
C8018, D3,  5,  Kato Fournos, 654099.89125, 4177488.05
C8019, D3,  9,  Pezoulia, 654379.5945, 4177458.95
C8020, D3,  17,  Ep. Pigadi/Fournodiaselo, 654216.228, 4177229.7875
C8022, E2,  1,  Sfalakhtra, 653883.5549, 4176820.725
C8023, E3,  1,  Ep. Pigadi/Fournodiaselo, 654228.60425, 4177051.1
C8024, E3,  3,  Bouziati (Kalkani N Bank), 654107.317, 4176990.475
C8025, E3,  4,  Kalkani S Bank, 654057.812, 4176934.7
C8026, E3,  7,  Kalkani SW, 654038.01, 4176687.35
C8027, E3,  13,  Panagia, 654406.82225, 4176973.5
C8028, E3,  14,  Ag. Georgios, 654389.4955, 4176638.85
C8029, E4,  4,  Panagia, 654443.9505, 4177063.225
C8030, E4,  14,  Third Km, 654566.22785, 4176767.375
C8031, F3,  1,  Alepotrypa, 654097.416, 4176505.025
C8032, F3,  1,  Alepotrypa-Aspria, 654097.416, 4176505.025
C8033, F3,  5,  Ag. Georgios, 654431.57475, 4176531.7
C8034, F4,  1,  Third Km, 654550.38625, 4176609.3
C8035, F4,  20,  Sarra, 654637.02, 4176332.85
C8036, G4,  7,  Sarra, 654894.446, 4175697.05
C8037, G4,  11,  Tserania, 654671.6735, 4176024.425
C8038, G5,  2,  Sarra, 655018.208, 4176000.175
C8039, G5,  9,  Gouves Cem?, 655146.921, 4175634
C8040, H3,  2a,  Priftiani, 654382.06975, 4175323.15
C8041, H5,  9,  Plesia, 655349.8915, 4175146.125
C8042, H6,  4,  Koufourachi, 655651.8715, 4175325.575
C8044, J5,  3,  Plesia Rema, 655070.18825, 4175022
C8045, J5,  7,  Plesia, 655377.11925, 4175065.65


LISTING 4: The Chamber Tomb Complexes around Mycenae with lat/lon pairs in WGS84 after conversion from UTM.

Name, ID,  latitude,  longitude
Vythisma S, A3:1, 37.74278838, 22.75134851
Vythisma N, A4:1, 37.74508036, 22.75300421
Batsourorachi, B2:1, 37.73843667, 22.74683571
Loupouno, B3:1, 37.73961338, 22.75148434
Asprokhoma W, B3:3, 37.73778895, 22.75145539
Asprokhoma E (A/A), B4:2, 37.73803447, 22.75331548
Asprokhoma E, B4:3, 37.73765555, 22.7538121
Souleimani, B4:14, 37.73981441, 22.75706504
Kapsala S, B4:18, 37.73770538, 22.75780161
Kapsala N/Vlakhostrata, B5:1, 37.73963215, 22.75902743
Batsourorachi SW, C2:2, 37.73429185, 22.7445757
Koutsoumbela, C3:4, 37.73558683, 22.74980259
Asprokhoma SW, C3:8, 37.7351213, 22.75201041
Asprokhoma/Agriosykia, C4:1, 37.73697418, 22.75306577
Paleogalaro - Lower, C4:16, 37.7372623, 22.75793156
Paleogalaro E/Kapsala, C5:4, 37.73562093, 22.76101086
Paleogalaro W, C5:8, 37.73595057, 22.75854709
Gortsoula, C7:1, 37.73288738, 22.76987825
Kato Fournos, D3:5, 37.73171253, 22.74875651
Pezoulia, D3:9, 37.73140325, 22.75192278
Ep. Pigadi/Fournodiaselo, D3:17, 37.72936624, 22.75002125
Sfalakhtra, E2:1, 37.72573692, 22.74616099
Ep. Pigadi/Fournodiaselo, E3:1, 37.72775434, 22.75012372
Bouziati (Kalkani N Bank), E3:3, 37.72722858, 22.74873529
Kalkani S Bank, E3:4, 37.72673442, 22.74816201
Kalkani SW, E3:7, 37.72450935, 22.74788504
Panagia, E3:13, 37.7270252, 22.75212852
Ag. Georgios, E3:14, 37.72401322, 22.75186098
Panagia, E4:4, 37.72782727, 22.75256924
Third Km, E4:14, 37.7251413, 22.75389318
Alepotrypa, F3:1, 37.72285677, 22.74852014
Alepotrypa-Aspria, F3:1, 37.72285677, 22.74852014
Ag. Georgios, F3:5, 37.7230408, 22.75231545
Third Km, F4:1, 37.72371986, 22.75367993
Sarra, F4:20, 37.72121467, 22.75460367
Sarra, G4:7, 37.7154432, 22.75738767
Tserania, G4:11, 37.71843019, 22.75493109
Sarra, G5:2, 37.71815314, 22.75885624
Gouves Cem?, G5:9, 37.71483245, 22.76023778
Priftiani, H3:2a, 37.71216119, 22.75149759
Plesia, H5:9, 37.71040275, 22.76243524

Monday, November 19, 2018

Subregion support for Helladic.Info


Until now the Mycenaean Atlas has not consistently supported the idea of subregions.  This situation arose from not thinking clearly about the problem from the beginning.  The general concept of regions (e.g. Crete, Dodecanese, Messenia, Argolid, etc.) has always been a part of the database.  Smaller divisions, however, have been mostly skipped.  

It would, for example, be desirable to be able to look at individual islands in the several groups on an island by island basis.  Up until now one could look at ‘Cyclades’ but not ‘Naxos’ or any other of the individual islands in that chain.  With the 1.002 DB release, however, this has changed.  Several of the major regions have been divided into fully supported subregions.  You can now look not just at ‘Crete’ but at its individual subregions such as ‘Kissamos’, ‘Ierapetra’, ‘Khydonia’, etc.

You can choose these subregions on the ‘Region’ drop-down.  Here is a picture of what the region choice drop down for Crete looks like now:

The new Controls Page with subregions listed.  Here for Crete.


As you can see the term ‘Crete’ (which functions as it always did by encompassing the whole) is followed by combined  choices for the individual subregions of the island: ‘Crete: Amari’, ‘Crete: Apokoronas’, etc.

Island chains are now handled in a similar manner.  You can now isolate the main islands in the following island chains:

Cyclades
Dodecanese
Ionian Islands
North-east Aegean (Lemnos, etc.)
Saronic Gulf (Aigina, Salamis, etc.)
Sporades (Skyros, etc.)

Aigina treated as a subregion and mapped by itself and (below)
in its own Chrono Report.



 The concept of named regions is somewhat problematic.  We really don't know the region names for the Greek mainland as they were known in the Bronze Age and their use (we start knowing actual region names from the time of Homer) fluctuates even in historical times.  Of the mainland regions only Anatolia has been divided into subregions on this website.

The benefit of this subregion support is that you can now prepare reports (elevation, chrono, etc.) for more tightly focused regions and I sincerely hope that this will be a benefit.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you like these posts then please follow me on Twitter (Squinchpix) or Google Plus (Robert Consoli).  Please do this.

You can e-mail me (and I hope you will) at  bobconsoli   at   gmail dot com

And please remember - Friends don't let friends use Facebook.

Some remarks on the Mycenaean Atlas Project database:

Many researchers in the social sciences use some product like Microsoft's Excel to create a 'DB'.  This is fine; it's what is generally referred to as a 'flat file'.  That is, a single table representation of your data of interest.

The Mycenaean Atlas database, on the other hand, is a relational database with several tables that was built using MySQL.  Dumps of this DB are available but you need MySQL (or similar) and a knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL) to run it.  Otherwise it doesn't make much sense to ask for it.  But If you'd like to have a copy of the Mycenaean Atlas database anyway then e-mail me and tell me about your project.  

And remember that useful .kml and/or .csv files can be generated directly from all the windows (including the new reports pages) of the website helladic.info   Try it out!   I'm also willing to generate custom .csv or .kml files from the atlas if you need something specific.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Finding Tsoukka (C1922)


I have been reading the very interesting dissertation by Dr. Catherine Parker about bronze age Arcadia and checking her list of sites against mine.  In the course of this I came across her discussion of the site of Tsoukka (C1922) which is in Arcadia's Pheneos valley.  Tsoukka is an MH site.  I positioned it somewhat informally at the small country crossroads here: 37.889404° N 22.293383° E, basing this on the large-scale map in Zavadil [2006], with an accuracy parameter of 'Unknown' and I confess that I didn't think too much more about it.  Then I came across Dr. Parker's discussion which tells us that the discovery of Tsoukka included apsidal houses.  Because I don't have access to the original discoverer's articles (Erath [1999] and Erath [2000]) I had not known about the houses.  

Apsidal houses always get my attention.   I have certain ... er ... hypotheses about such structures and this was too good to let go.  It became my number one priority to identify exactly where these houses are located.   The only clue I had was a photograph taken by Dr. Parker.  I reproduce it here:


Courtesy of Dr. Catherine Parker.  All rights reserved to creator.

Can we work with what we have?  I think so.  We're looking for a road or a footpath which is flanked by two poles.  Behind the poles is a tree.  The apsidal house (or its entrance) is in the foreground and marked by the several stones.

It's not much to go on.  Can we find such a combination of features?   Here's what the territory actually looks like:



In the above aerial photo from Google Earth we see the east end of the hill of Tsoukka along with the little rise at its foot (center with the feature marker).  The apsidal  houses are somewhere on this map among this interlace of country roads.

I began by assuming that the 'path' in Parker's photograph was really one of these roads and, thank heaven!, Google Street View is available for nearly all these roads.  I traversed the road coming in from the north: nothing.  I then tried the road running NE to SW.  This road is lined by a single file of telephone poles except for one place.  Here it is:






Can these be the same two poles that we see in Dr. Parker's photograph?  I tried to reproduce her view in Google Earth:


In the foreground of this picture we see some stones which look quite like those in Dr. Parker's photo .... and here's a better view of the famous tree behind the poles:




When we look back from the double poles in the direction from which Dr. Parker's picture was taken we see this:



The terrace on which the apsidal houses are located is here:





Here's what it looks like from directly above:





The 'x' marks the place from which Dr. Parker's picture was taken.

And another view:



In this picture I tried to recreate the exact angle of Dr. Parker's photograph with the blue line.  The place from which the  picture was taken would be at the tip of the white arrow by the apsidal houses.


Well, to wrap it all up, the Mycenaean Atlas Project DB now has a new location for Tsoukkas (C1922).  It is here:

     Decimal:   37.888726° N          22.290945° E
     DMS:       37° 53' 19.414" N     22° 17' 27.402" E     
     W3W: geared.braces.squarely
     UTM:       34 S   613515 m E   4194254 m N

     GGRS87:    349568 m E    4194558 m N


It will be a couple of days before I update the DB.  However, it should be corrected by 8/23 or so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you like these posts then please follow me on Twitter (Squinchpix) or Google Plus (Robert Consoli).  Please do this.

You can e-mail me (and I hope you will) at  bobconsoli   at   gmail dot com

And please remember - Friends don't let friends use Facebook.

Some remarks on the Mycenaean Atlas Project database:

Many researchers in the social sciences use some product like Microsoft's Excel to create a 'DB'.  This is fine; it's what is generally referred to as a 'flat file'.  That is, a single table representation of your data of interest.

The Mycenaean Atlas database, on the other hand, is a relational database with several tables that was built using MySQL.  Dumps of this DB are available but you need MySQL (or similar) and a knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL) to run it.  Otherwise it doesn't make much sense to ask for it.  But If you'd like to have a copy of the Mycenaean Atlas database anyway then e-mail me and tell me about your project.  

And remember that useful .kml and/or .csv files can be generated directly from all the windows (including the new reports pages) of the website helladic.info   Try it out!   I'm also willing to generate custom .csv or .kml files from the atlas if you need something specific.


BIBLIO

Erath [2000]:  Gabriel Erath, "Neolithische und bronzezeitliche Keramik aus dem Becken von Pheneos in Arkadien", in F. BLAKOLMER (ed.), Österreichische Forschungen zur Ägäischen Bronzezeit 1998. Akten der Tagung am Institut für Klassische Archäologie der Universität Wien, 2.-3. Mai 1998 (2000), p. 111-118, esp. 114, fig. 6. 

Erath [1999]:  Gabriel Erath, "Archäologische Funde im Becken von Pheneos", in K. TAUSEND (ed.), Pheneos und Lousoi.  Untersuchungen zu Geschichte und Topographie Nordostarkadiens (1999), p. 199-237, Taf. 4, 5

Mazarakis-Ainian [2009]:  Alexander Mazarakis-Ainian, From Ruler's Dwellings to Temples; Architecture, Religion and Society in Early Iron Age Greece (1100-700 B.C.).  Paul Åströms Förlag. Jonsered, Sweden.  1997.

Parker [2008]: Catherine Parker, Arkadia in Transition: Exploring Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Human Landscapes. Ph.D. dissertation submitted to the University of Birmingham. Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, School of Historical Studies.  The University of Birmingham, January 2008.

Philippa-Touchais et al. [2006]: Mesohelladika; La Grèce continentale au Bronze Moyen.  Actes du colloque international organisé par L'École Française d'Athènes en collaboration avec l'American School of Classical Studies at Athens et le Netherlands Institute in Athens, Athènes, 8-12 mars 2006.  Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique Supplement no. 52.

Zavadil [2006]:   Michaela Zavadil, The Peloponnese in the Middle Bronze Age: An Overview', in Philippa-Touchais et al. [2006], pp. 151-163. 2006., p. 161.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Principal Sites Control





The Mycenaean Atlas Project is happy to announce the new Principal Sites Control for the website Helladic.info
The sites currently supported are

  • Argos (Aspis)
  • Ayia Triadha (Crete)
  • Chania (Crete)
  • Gla (Boeotia)
  • Kalamianos (Corinthia)
  • Kanakia (Salamis)
  • Knossos (Crete)
  • Kommos (Crete)
  • Lefkandi (Euboea)
  • Mallia (Crete)
  • Malthi-Dorion (Messenia)
  • Mideia (Argolid)
  • Mycenae (Argolid)
  • Nestor’s Palace (Messenia)
  • Nichoria (Messenia)
  • Orchomenos (Boeotia)
  • Pellana (Laconia)
  • Peristeria Tholos 1 (Messenia)
  • Petra (Pelasgiotis)
  • Phaistos (Crete)
  • Teichos Dymaion (Achaia)
  • Thebes (Boeotia)
  • Tiryns (Argolid)
  • Volos (Magnesia)
  • Vrokastro (Crete)
  • Xerokambi: Ayios Vasileios (Laconia)
  • Zakros (Crete)



  • The Principal Sites control allows the user to bring up the Place Key Report page with just a single click for the most significant sites in the Mycenaean/Minoan world. The control consists of a simple scrollable list in which the sites are listed in alphabetical order. 







  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The software for the Principal Sites Control was delivered today, November 4.  A new data base has also been released.  It contains some new sites and features.  New search files have been delivered.

    Your feedback is very valuable to me.  My e-mail address is: bobconsoli 'at' gmail.com

    Please follow me on Twitter: @squinchpix

    I would ask you to follow me on Google Plus but c'est la guerre.

    Friends don't let friends use Facebook and if you are using it please stop.

    Useful .kml and/or .csv files can be generated directly from all the windows (including the new reports pages) of the website helladic.info   Try it out!   I'm also willing to generate custom .csv or .kml files from the atlas if you need something specific.

    Most researchers in this field use some product like Microsoft's Excel to create a DB.  This is fine; it's what is generally referred to as a 'flat file' - a single table representation of your data of interest.

    The Mycenaean Atlas database, on the other hand, is a relational database with several tables.  It was built using MySQL.  I will make dumps of this DB available but you need MySQL (or similar) and a knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL) to run it.  (I'm pretty sure that you can interface to my database from ArcGIS or QGIS).  

    Otherwise it doesn't make much sense to ask for it.  But If you'd like to have a copy of the Mycenaean Atlas database anyway then e-mail me (bobconsoli 'at' gmail.com) and tell me about your project.  I want to share the Database but just remember that it's a relational SQL DB.
  • Sunday, October 28, 2018

    Customized Bibliographies in the Mycenaean Atlas Project



    The Mycenaean Atlas Project is happy to announce the delivery of software that can support customized bibliographies.

    The bibliography for the Mycenaean Atlas Project now numbers more than 1000 items.  For a long time I have wanted to be able to present the bibliography online in a focused and analytical fashion.

    From the beginning it was possible to create a map that showed every location documented by specific scholars.  It was possible to create, for example, a map of the Mycenaean world which showed just those sites for which Simpson’s Mycenaean Greece was one of the sources.  At the present time one can draw such a map for any one of 40 different scholars.



    This is useful for tracking the actual coverage that the Mycenaean Atlas gives to any one of these prominent writers and these maps change as more and more of their sites are put into the Atlas.  Here, for example, is a map based on Emilia Banou's Beitrag zum Studium Lakoniens in der mykenischen Zeit from 1996.   These are all the sites for which her work is at least one of the supporting citations in the Mycenaean Atlas.




    There is more in the Bibliography than just those forty authors.  At a minimum it should be possible to produce customized bibliographies.  If a user chooses just to look at sites from Arcadia then it should be possible to produce a bibliography of just those writers who are cited in locations from Arcadia.   In other words, to produce a customized bibliography of Arcadia in the Mycenaean period.  And that goes for any other combination of choices.  A customized bibliography for ‘tholos’ and ‘LH’; or a customized bibliography just for ‘Forts’,  etc.

    This is now  possible with new software delivered to helladic.info.  In addition to the other reports that are generated from the report page such as ‘Chrono’ or ‘Elevation’ it is now possible to generate a bibliographic report limited to just those categories the user actually chose.



    If the user chose ‘Boeotia’ and ‘EHII’ from the control page then, on the report page, pressing ‘Biblio Report’ on the main report page will produce a new page that contains a bibliography of just those authors and sources in the DB who are cited in support of every Boeotian site of the EH II.





    A dedicated bibliography for 'Boeotia' in the 'EH II' looks like this:




    Your choices are listed in the parameter box at the top left.  Here the PERIOD: is EHII and the REGION: is Boeotia.

    The primary feature of this new page is the bibliography table.  This table has four columns, 'Author', 'Citation', 'Comment', and 'ISBN'.

    Author: This column displays the author name, if known.  If there is a link associated with the author's name then clicking that link will bring up a map with just the sites in 'Boeotia' in the 'EHII' that use that author as a supporting citation.

    Citation: This column displays the title and publisher (or journal information) of the work being cited.  If there is a link in this column then clicking that link will bring the user to the actual text of the work (.pdf or other doc) being cited.

    Comment: The comment field displays extra information, if any, about the work being cited.

    ISBN: This displays the ISBN number (or ASIN or DOI) of the work being cited.  This is included, when known, to prevent ambiguity.  The ISBN is still the best way to identify the exact edition of a book being cited.

    Here's a part of the biblio page for 'Attica':



    (You may need to click on this to enlarge it.)  Here there are ISBN numbers for Simpson and Hagel's Mycenaean Fortifications ... and Privitera's Principi, Pelasgi, e Pescatori because those books are not available online.  On the other hand Jeremy Rutter's "Evidence for a Mycenaean Tomb of the Late Helladic IIA period in the Athenian Agora" is online and the page provides a working link to it.  Clicking on that link brings up Dr. Rutter's article.

    And what about that first column which is headed 'Author'?  As mentioned above that entry might have a link and, if it does, clicking on that link brings up a new map with sites for which that author/work combination provide bibliographic support.  For example, when you click on Jeremy Rutter's name next to his article 'Evidence for a Mycenaean Tomb of the Late Helladic IIA Period in the Athenian Agora' from Hesperia you are taken to a new map page with just that site on it, in the Atlas, for which Dr. Rutter's article is cited in support.  It looks like this:



    Here's the new single citation source page.  Since you clicked on Dr. Rutter's name it brings up the single site in Attica which is in the DB and for which Dr. Rutter is one of the supporting sources.   In this particular case it turns out to be a grave in the Athenian agora (C1835).  In this way you can quickly track those sites for which specific authors/works are cited in support.

    At the top of this page the original choice criteria are repeated.  The Criterion Bar says "Source: Rutter [1975]    Number of sites: 1     Region: Attica"

    When you mouse over the Source the full citation will pop up.  It looks like this:



    Here you can see the black background popup box with the full name of Dr. Rutter's article and its place of publication, namely in Hesperia.

    Ceramic Horizon (Period) criteria are handled in a similar fashion.  Here, for example, is a map derived from Simpson's 1959 article on 'Nemesis'.  One selection criterion was 'LH'.  For our search purposes the choice of 'LH' means every subdivision of that period: LHI, LHII, LHIII, etc.  You can see that if you mouse over the 'Ceramic Horizon: LH' string:





    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    The Dynamic Bibliography Report is available to be used now.  That software was delivered in the last week.  A new data base to support dynamic bibliographies has also been released.

    Your feedback is very valuable to me.  My e-mail address is: bobconsoli 'at' gmail.com

    Please follow me on Twitter: @squinchpix

    I would ask you to follow me on Google Plus but c'est la guerre.

    Friends don't let friends use Facebook and if you are using it please stop.

    Useful .kml and/or .csv files can be generated directly from all the windows (including the new reports pages) of the website helladic.info   Try it out!   I'm also willing to generate custom .csv or .kml files from the atlas if you need something specific.


    Most researchers in this field use some product like Microsoft's Excel to create a DB.  This is fine; it's what is generally referred to as a 'flat file' - a single table representation of your data of interest.

    The Mycenaean Atlas database, on the other hand, is a relational database with several tables.  It was built using MySQL.  I will make dumps of this DB available but you need MySQL (or similar) and a knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL) to run it.  (I'm pretty sure that you can interface to my database from ArcGIS or QGIS).  

    Otherwise it doesn't make much sense to ask for it.  But If you'd like to have a copy of the Mycenaean Atlas database anyway then e-mail me (bobconsoli 'at' gmail.com) and tell me about your project.  I want to share the Database but just remember that it's a relational SQL DB