From Classics-l announcement (1999):
- Stoa electronic publishing consortium would like to announce the availability of the Stoa Waypoint Database (http://www.stoa.org/stoagnd/). The database is designed to serve as an archive of geographic data (longitude and latitude coordinates) for ancient sites, buildings, objects, geographic features, archaeological excavations, etc. Our goal is to provide a freely accessible source of geographic data that can be used by the widest possible audience. We hope that this data will be useful, for example, in GPS units and GIS software for archaeologists in the field, students working on research projects, and digital map makers, or anyone else engaged in study and research.
- All the data in the database may be browsed and searched on the web, and it is also freely available for downloading into a generic comma-delimited text file. As of this writing there are coordinates for over 2000 geographic entitities.
- In addition we hope to grow the database through contributions of geographic data from students, scholars, or anyone else who is interested. All contributions are welcome. If you would like to contribute geographic data, please refer to the Stoa's Guidelines for Recording and Submitting GPS Waypoints (http://www.stoa.org/guides/gps.shtml) for more information.
From Elliott/Gillies 2009:
- The first attempt at full-fledged VGI in Classics was the Stoa Waypoint Database, a joint initiative of Robert Chavez, then with the Perseus Project, and the late Ross Scaife, on behalf of the Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities (http://www.stoa.org). In its public unveiling, [Scaife 1999] cast the resource as "an archive [and] freely accessible source of geographic data...for archaeologists...students...digital map makers, or anyone else engaged in study and research". At initial publication, the dataset comprised slightly over 2,000 point features (settlements, sites and river mouths), drawn from work Chavez and Maria Daniels had done for the Perseus Atlas and personal research projects. The points included both GPS coordinates and coordinates drawn from various public domain (mostly US government) gazetteers and data sources. Chavez and Scaife also invited contributions of new data, especially encouraging the donation of GPS waypoints and tracks gathered in the field. A set of Guidelines for Recording Handheld GPS Waypoints were promulgated to support this work [Chavez 1999]. The original application for download of the database was retired from the Stoa server some time ago; however, the data set has recently been reposted by the Ancient World Mapping Center in KML format (http://www.unc.edu/awmc/pleiades/data/stoagnd/). Despite limited success in soliciting outside contributions, the idea of the Stoa Waypoint Database had a formative influence on the early conceptualization of the authors' Pleiades project.