Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DIANA: Digital Iconographic Atlas of Numismatics in Antiquity

DIANA: Digital Iconographic Atlas of Numismatics in Antiquity
Some web solutions make it possible to retrieve data and display the location of ancient mints and coin finds on digital maps, but they do not present codified and detailed descriptions of coin iconographies. The "Digital Iconographic Atlas of Numismatics in Antiquity" (DIANA) is a web application that provides an in-depth analysis of ancient coins specifically considering the details of their iconography, chronology, and the geographical location of their mints. Thanks to this approach, DIANA allows a more detailed study of coin iconographies through time and space than other existing web applications.

Nowadays, in the field of coin iconography, there are a few works properly addressing the involved scientific requirements. Several web sites use a map representation to display money data, even if the location of ancient places is often imprecise and uncertain, since modern cities are not always located in the same place as their ancient counterpart. Moreover, existing solutions do not allow a detailed study of coin iconographies properly considering time and places.

The web application allows users to search, retrieved, and displayed data using digital map in oder to perform an in-dept diachronic study. The DIANA's digital archive is based on a relational Data Base Management System (DBMS). The web application is developed combining both server-side and client-side programming languages. The server-side is developed using the PHP language, whereas the client-side is developed using Javascript. In order to provide users a good degree of reactiveness, DIANA has been developed adopting the Asymchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) programming technique. In order to build digital maps, the system uses the Google Maps Platform as a Service (PaaS). A mint can be searched on DIANA considering a target coin iconography through a web form. By means of AJAX requests, data are retrieved on the DIANA's digital archive and they are sent in XML format to the user's web browser. After that, the web browser processes the received data and it forwards a second AJAX request to the Google Map PaaS that return a digital map displaying the mint and ancient coins...

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