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
http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/39290), 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
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.