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:

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.

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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   Try it out!   I'm also willing to generate custom .csv or .kml files from the atlas if you need something specific.

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