Saturday, December 2, 2017

News from the Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project: A New Map for Pompeii

A New Map for Pompeii
The second map by the PBMP is now online. Updated with new data and a richer environment, users can explore all 640,000 square meters of Pompeii’s urban landscape from an overview of the entire site to individual objects, such as fountains, millstones, or stepping-stones. To better align with underlying base maps and satellite imagery, the PBMP map data has been nudged slightly (-1.414m, -4.648m) to better spread error and distortions from the original CAD across the site. Although titled “Navigation Map 2”, this map includes important developments towards our planned phase II (information map) and phase III (query map) maps. New information on the earliest artifacts, on street features including rut depth and individual objects, and on tombs are all added into this map. New ways of searching the data are also now available. A standard layer list and legend of symbols (folder icon, upper right) is now accompanied by a table of attributes (tab, bottom) and a search bar (upper left) that can find locations by ID, by name (mostly in Italian), or by address (in Region.Insula.Door format, e.g., VIII.7.1).
For a quick view, Navigation Map 2 is embedded here, but for optimum use, go to the map page.

New Interface and New Data Formats

Navigation Map 1 relied primarily on a series of nested tiles (images of the map data) to quickly render the complex and relatively large amounts of data that describe Pompeii. To add data-rich layers back in, individual shapefiles were uploaded into the map to overlay these tiles and offer spatial and attribute data through pop-ups. For Navigation Map 2, we have moved to ArcGIS Online’s Web Apps for our interface and use Hosted Feature Layers for each data layer, some of which have been combined into larger, related group layers. For example, “Topography” contains the excavated and unexcavated city blocks, fortifications, defensive towers, city gates, fountains and water towers. Similarly, “Streets ” and “Street Features ” contain multiple classes of objects.
We chose to move to Hosted Feature Layers because the of the ease of sharing these data, both between the PBMP working files on our computers and the UMass ArcGIS servers, and with our community of users. In the first instance, we are able to edit our files offline and seamlessly share back to the current datasets and maps without interrupting the appearance (symbologies) or behaviors (labeling, pop-ups, overlays, tranparencies, etc.). In fact, these layers permit editing directly through the browser as well as the ability to sync such changes to the server when editing is done in an offline session. These later features are turned off by default, but their potential power for using the PBMP data for research on-site in Pompeii is enormous.
This potentiality echoes our desire for these data to be easily available for use, download, and reuse by a community of people – scholars, students, and the public – interested in Pompeii. For example, I have used PBMP data in my research (e.g., Traffic Systems of Pompeii, “Measuring the Movement Economy“), for assignments in my teaching (Topography of Pompeii, Objects of the Early Excavations, or Funerary Landscapes), and, to the degree to which this site is a service to the public, in outreach. Thus, not only do we want the Pompeian community to have the best data to make maps of Pompeii, we hope that data improved and enriched by the community might be reinvested into the PBMP. Hosted Feature Layers are the best means to make this possible. 
If you are not an ArcGIS Online user, these Hosted Feature Layers can still be used to create online maps of your own. If you are an ArcGIS user, there are more options available including exporting these data to your own account or downloading them as Shapefile, CSV, KML, Excel, FGDB, or GeoJSON. To get an account, first see if your institution has an organizational account. If not, or if you want to get started right away, sign up for Public account (here’s the difference). All of the current data are hosted in the map and are available there, but are also listed and linked below to see each file and its documentation independently.
* Indicates layer is turned off by default ! Indicates layer is “in progress” and should be considered for illustration purposes at the time of posting.
For information on the original files and their creation, see the documentation on Navigation Map 1.

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