GeoDia

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Contents

Available

http://geodia.laits.utexas.edu

Creators/Editor/Contributors

  • Creators: Adam Rabinowitz, Nick Rabinowitz, Peter Keane, Stuart Ross
  • Editor: Adam Rabinowitz
  • Contributors: Suloni Robertson (UT LAITS), Adrienne Witzel (UT LAITS), Rabun Taylor (UT Classics), Jennifer Gates-Foster (UT Classics), Nassos Papalexandrou (UT Art and Art History), Taylor Bose (UT Classics), Ann Morgan (UT Classics), Miriam Tworek-Hofstetter (UT Classics), Abbey Turner (UT Classics), Ufuk Soyoz (UT Art and Art History), Jacob Garner (UT Classics), Mike Wham (UT Classics)

Description

GeoDia is an interactive spatial timeline covering the ancient Mediterranean world, broadly defined. Its spatial coverage ranges from Britain to Afghanistan, and its temporal coverage ranges from the Neolithic to Late Antiquity. It is intended to be a teaching tool that can help students in classes on the ancient Mediterranean world to orient themselves in space and time, to understand material culture in its spatial context (as opposed to art and archaeology textbooks, which usually use periods as their central organizing principle), and to discover connections across the cultural and spatial boundaries that normally dictate the way we teach Mediterranean civilizations.

The site presents a mashup of a map (Google Maps base) and a slippy timeline, on which can be displayed sites (with the archaeological periods represented at those sites displayed as spans on the timeline) or events (displayed as dots on the timeline). The map and the timeline are synchronized, so dragging either will repopulate the other. Because of space limitations on the timeline, sites are also displayed according to a ranking algorithm, with the most important visible at the most distant zoom level, but with less important sites appearing as one zooms in (events are not ranked). Many sites are also associated with images of the monuments and objects found or made there, arranged according to period.

The navigation area allows users to browse sites (tab showing a Peutinger map town icon) or events (tab showing an exclamation point icon) by cultural and spatial facets, or search for them by string. The images can also be searched by string in a separate tab (showing a camera icon). Results can be managed in the "results" tab, which allows users to show, hide, or remove individual sites or events, and also to download a particular results set as KML or link to it. The "details" tab for sites shows periodized images (Non-UT users can only see thumbnails of these images), while the same tab for events provides brief textual descriptions, including, in some cases, links to the primary sources expressed as Perseus canonical text citations. The information pop-ups that appear when a site marker is clicked on the map include a link to the Pleiades record for that site.

Extensive instructions for the use of the site can be found in textual form at http://geodia.laits.utexas.edu/faq.html, or in a series of video tutorials available at http://geodiaforum.blogspot.com/ or on the Geodiachronicity YouTube channel.

Technical Details

GeoDia is based on Nick Rabinowitz's timemap.js JavaScript library, which mashes up Google Maps and MIT's Simile timeline (code archived at https://github.com/datadesk/timemap), and on the Digital Archives Services (DASe) storage architecture developed by Peter Keane for Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services at The University of Texas at Austin (code archived at https://code.google.com/archive/p/dase/). The project was carried out between 2008 and 2010 (code archived at https://github.com/nrabinowitz/geodia). Since then, no active development has taken place either on the site or on the code libraries involved, although there have been some changes to the site to deal with new UT authentication procedures and to update the Google Maps API key. DASe is currently maintained by LAITS, but has been deprecated as critical storage architecture. As of May 2016, the GeoDia website is fully functional in Chrome and Firefox on laptop and desktop computers, but does not work properly on mobile devices or tablets. The Editor still has the ability to add places, periods, images, and events, and updates are made as he can find time (these updates will consist for the foreseeable future of edited contributions from undergraduate classes in Greek civilization and archaeology at UT). There is no permanent commitment for the maintenance of the site on the part of UT Austin.

Bibliography

Rabinowitz, A., "GeoDia: or, Navigating archaeological time and space in an American college classroom", in G. Earl, T. Sly, A. Chrysanthi, P. Murrieta-Flores, C. Papadopoulos, I. Romanowska, and D. Wheatley, eds., CAA 2012: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Southampton, England (Amsterdam: Pallas Publications, 2013), 263-272. Available at https://www.academia.edu/1801635/GeoDia_or_Navigating_archaeological_time_and_space_in_an_American_college_classroom.

Acknowledgments

GeoDia was created with the generous support of two faculty innovation grants awarded to A. Rabinowitz by UT LAITS in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

See also

Pleiades

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