WorldMap is a collaborative, interactive web-based mapping platform, not just a static presentation of map data. Users can contribute data to build their own maps or add their own data layers using any of 13 different base maps provided by Bing, Google, ESRI, OpenStreetMap and others. Users can comment or annotate places on existing maps that they or others create. Maps and layers created by users can be private, shared with designated colleagues and classmates or published publicly.
The web has many mapping platforms, from Bing and Google Maps to more sophisticated mapping applications like ArcGIS online and Google Earth. Although some of these applications allow users to place data on maps that can be shared with everyone, the display of the data is static, only allowing others to view what the user created. WorldMap provides many of the same capabilities but with an important difference – you can give others permission to just view specific data in a map or select users who may edit the data displayed on a map. In addition, you can choose any of more than a dozen aerial or street base maps on which to display your data. Built-in tools include a searchable gazetteer and the capability of annotating a layer within a map with ‘Notes’ or by creating shapes which allow the display of text or images when clicked by the user.
What WorldMap Provides
WorldMap allows users to understand the geographic context of what defines events and patterns of history. It provides spatial meaning to events and artifacts by recognizing their geographic context.
WorldMap enables collaboration among colleagues and students:
- Geo-reference your research and provide links to published articles.
- Share your research in-progress with just your colleagues or with a collaboration team.
- Allow selected users to annotate your spatially-referenced research.
- Enable students to publish their course research.
- Publish your research to the world at no cost.
WorldMap permits the publishing of a variety of mapped content. These include a web-based application named ‘Warp’ for georeferencing maps or aerial photographs. The ‘Create Feature’ tool allows the user to add points, lines and polygons to a layer, each of which can be associated with descriptive text or hyperlinks to other websites. All of these tools and features of WorldMap only require use of your browser, with no additional software. (Note: WorldMap is built to open source standards, so using either a current version of Firefox or Chrome browser will provide full functionality.)
Application of WorldMap Features
Examples of georeferenced plans and maps range from the street grid of Carthage (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/neareastcollab/L_- ) to a map of the island of Cyprus (1975 political boundaries – http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/neareastcollab/L-8). Aerial photographs can be georeferenced so that they can be overlaid on current terrain imagery. Examples can be found for Ajlun, Jordan in 1972 (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/neareastcollab/L-7 ) or a 1945 aerial photo of Shinkin in Galilee (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/neareastcollab/MBe). Site plans of various portions of the Giza plateau have been published at http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/giza. Click on the various boxes associated with different layers to view plans.
For an example of mapping a trading route, the author created the Road of Horus (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/
The trading center of Pelusium (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/
Eastern Palestine & Jordan – Glueck’s ASOR surveys
Over a period of fifteen years (1932–1947), Nelson Glueck conducted and published the first archaeological surveys of eastern Palestine and Jordan, in what was then the British Protectorate. The extent of these surveys have been published on WorldMap as part of an ongoing collaboration of ASOR and the Semitic Museum, Harvard University, to trace the extensive travel and surveys of the former Director of ASOR’s Jerusalem research center (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/glueck). Clicking on one of the green triangles will display a pop-up window that identifies the site and a hyperlink. Clicking on the hyperlink (e.g. #7 El-Hosb) will open a new browser tab that displays the image and reference source from the Glueck digital archive. This is an example of the much larger effort that is part of a multi-year effort to document Nelson Glueck’s research.
Fall 2014 – Learning about WorldMap
During the Fall 2014 term there will be a weekly video conference (Mondays, 5 PM, Eastern Time – Connect Here) where WorldMap will be demonstrated and discussed. Anyone is welcome to join the discussion. Detailed information can be found the on the WorldMap Collaborative website. For anyone wanting a quick overview, a visit to about.worldmap.harvard.edu will provide a list of features. Interested users can subscribe to periodic updates about the WorldMap Collaborative by joining out list at: https://lists.fas.harvard.
The Ancient World Mapping Center (AWMC) at the University of North Carolina has recently made the Barrington Atlas available in a format which can be readily displayed on WorldMap.
“…the Barrington Atlas recreates the entire world of the Greeks and Romans from the British Isles to the Indian subcontinent and deep into North Africa. It spans the territory of more than 75 modern countries. … Over 70 experts, aided by an equal number of consultants, have worked from satellite-generated aeronautical charts to return the modern landscape to its ancient appearance, and to mark ancient names and features in accordance with the most up-to-date historical scholarship and archaeological discoveries.” WorldCat
In order to implement the Barrington Atlas and related hydrographic layers on WorldMap, a modest amount of programming is required to allow users to incorporate the Atlas layers into their maps. The Semitic Museum will work with the Center for Geographic Analysis over the coming months to enable Ancient World Mapping Center layers to be easily discovered and displayed in WorldMap.
For further information on WorldMap or on supporting this WorldMap project, please contact:
Jeff Howry, Ph.D.
6 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Want more like this post? Let us know! Be sure to share this post on Facebook, and tweet it out on Twitter! As always, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you thought of this post by leaving a comment below. Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to us on YouTube to stay updated on all things ASOR.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any link on this blog. ASOR will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information. ASOR will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. The opinions expressed by Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of ASOR or any employee thereof.