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:





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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














Monday, October 15, 2018

Announcing the Neighbor Analysis Page for the helladic.info website



The Mycenaean Atlas Project is happy to announce that the website helladic.info now supports nearest neighbor analysis for every site in the database.  This is the beginning of an effort to integrate all sites to their surrounding environments. 

A dedicated neighbor page can be accessed from any Place Key Report page.  There is a new button, ‘Neighbor’, on the lower menu line of that page.  When that button is pressed a new neighbor page will appear based on your anchor site.  This page contains new graphs and a table based on analyzing the anchor site’s neighbors. 

1. Neighbor Analysis Page


To perform this analysis the software searches the database for sites within 1500 m., in any direction, of the anchor site.  The area covered is 3 km. square or 9 square km.  These neighbors are then displayed in the form of a sortable table that lists the  place key, name, type, elevation, and distance of the neighbor from the anchor site.
 
2. Neighbor Chart.  Here for neighbors of C5443, Voni: Sochora,
which is a town in the Pedhiadha of Crete.

The neighbors are also displayed on a new map at the upper right.  This map shows only the neighbors and does not display features.

3. Neighbors map for C5443, Voni Sochora.

In addition the neighbors are displayed on two new charts.  The first is a bull’s eye chart which depicts the anchor site in the center and the neighbors in the form of concentric circles around it proportionate to their distance from the anchor site.  The bull’s eye chart highlights gaps or unusual distances between the anchor site and its neighbors.  Also it easily shows neighbor sites that are similar distances from the anchor site (no matter in which direction) because these similar-distance sites cluster on the bull’s eye chart.

4. Bull's Eye chart for neighbors of Voni Sochors, C5443 (at center).


The second chart is a vector graph that depicts each neighbor as a vector with distance and length proportional to its distance from the anchor site.  This chart is an abstract representation of the neighbor map on this page.  The vector chart, however, depicts distance and direction in a highly abstract way that can be taken in at a glance.  Each vector is labelled with the place key of the neighbor in question.  It will quickly show, for example, whether the anchor site is surrounded by neighbors or whether it is on one of the edges of a cluster of neighbors.


5. Vector chart for C5443 Voni Sochora (at center)

Scales have been drawn to make analysis easier.  These scales are useful in measuring distances from the anchor site to its neighbors.  The scales display tic marks at 100 m (1/10 km.) intervals.  The center value (aligned to the anchor site) is marked ‘0’.  Positive distances are marked at 1 km with the integer ‘1’ at ten tic marks to the left and also to the right.

For both of these charts and for the map north is to the top.

The user should bear some cautions in mind.  Neighbors are, of course, limited to whatever is in the database and this site cannot guarantee that the list of neighbors is exhaustive.

The user should also be aware that at present the neighbors shown on the map and the graphs are from all time periods and may not have existed at the same time as the anchor site.  I'm working on making this more sophisticated.

Also there are some areas for which this approach does not work very well.  Here is an example from the Athenian Agora (C1868) where there are so many sites that the graphs basically become unreadable:


Enlarging these charts would not help.  The whole thing is just a smear.  There are also sites which have no neighbors at all or, at least, none as defined here.  Here, for example, is the neighbor page for Larisa on the Hermos (Aeolis) C1473:




For many areas, however, this page should be a valuable aid for the analysis of Bronze Age sites.  Here's one more example, from one of the well known (and now disappearing) mounds (C319) at Lefki Kaldamou in Messenia:



The graphs quickly and precisely show that these mounds are more or less evenly spaced and arranged in a nearly straight line.


These charts are implemented using the HTML 5.0 canvas.  The canvas construct does not support links.  You can, however, link directly to any of these neighbor sites from the table on this page.

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The neighbor page is available to be used now.  That software was delivered yesterday.  A new data base which adds about 60 new sites, mainly in Crete, will be released either today or tomorrow.

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.

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 that 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.  

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.