New KML for Pleiades

I'm happy to announce improvements to KML representations of collections and search results served up by Pleiades. New features include: snippets, richer descriptions, and my favorite: better representations of roughly located places. I'm going to illustrate the new features using Pleiades places that reference the Periplus Maris Erythraei, a sailing and trading itinerary covering the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean (see also, and their coasts. The collection of those places has HTML and KML representations and can also be displayed directly in Google Maps.

I've moaned before about KML's name, Snippet, and description elements, but Snippet is what we have to use to get the information we want to surface like an Atom summary or RSS description. The new Pleiades snippets combine a list of feature categories (such as "Settlement" or "Station") with a list of time periods from the Pleiades vocabulary ("Roman", in the PME case).

The same categories also show up in the new popup balloon style. "Tags" would be other user provided categorizations (such as material types for mines, deities of temples, etc). The logo, for what it's worth, is by me and the Gimp.

Last, but not least, we've turned our old representations of roughly located places inside-out: we map what we know exactly – the bounding boxes that contain the places – and link to the places in the KML descriptions. It's a bit like a clustering approach, but with semantics that are rare in GIS or neo-geographic applications.

A permanent link to the search results containing those same places closes out the new aggregate bubble style. One of the things I'd like to do after we see how many more matches we can squeeze out of the DARMC dataset is add an "edit" link so that users who have the precise locations (and evidence in the form of references and links) can address themselves to the "fixable" places.