Week 4: Perspectives on Mapping 1: Representation beyond text

Assignment 1 – Due Friday August 28 2020

Lecture :  Moving beyond text (as words on paper) allows different possibilities. We will look at:

  • making text digital and the analytic and presentation possibilities which come with that move, including looking at non-linearity in discourse
  • using non-text material, starting with images, as evidence and as part of discourse


Peter. Burke. 2001. Eyewitnessing the uses of images as historical evidence. (Picturing History). London: Reaktion Books. (Introduction: The testimony of images, pp9-19) [pdf]
Landow, George P. 1987. Relationally encoded links and the rhetoric of hypertext. Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia: Proceeding of the ACM conference on Hypertext, vol. 1987, 331–343. [pdf]



Before the class:
Take note of one example you come across online where use of an image was either very effective or was distracting. Be prepared to talk about that example.

The Metamophoses of Ovid is an epic poem in Latin which recounts the mythology of the classical world. As the title might suggest, transformation and shape-shifting is an important theme of the work and many of the characters appear in multiple forms – keeping track of this is a formidable task. A famous project in what was then known as humanities computing addressed this problem, and we will take a look at it this week.

The Analytical Onomasticon to the Metaporphoses of Ovid

Read the introduction (it is short) then explore the Onomasticon a little, finding answers to the following two questions:

What forms does Jupiter (Iuppiter) take in the poem?
Which animal likenesses or comparisons do Jupiter and Hercules share?

The Introduction explains a little about the role of textual markup in this project, and you can see a lot of the markup in the interface. How do you think that the markup has been used to make the website you experience?
And what sort of questions does this interface make it easy (possible) to investigate?

Web Skills

Exercise: Adding information to a map and embedding it in a web page

The list of steps which follows may look daunting, but each step is straightforward.

  1. Get to the uMap home page
  2. Click on Create a map
  3. When the map appears, navigate to the location you want to use for your map using drag and zoom. (If you want to use your current location, click the arrow under the icons at the left, more icons appear one of which looks like a compass. Click that icon and the map will centre on your location, then click the icon again to allow zoom to work)
  4. Decide on a location you want to mark on the map, click on the top icon in the right hand tool bar (Draw a marker), then click on the location. A marker will appear and a dialogue box opens at the right. Enter a name and a brief description of the place.
  5. Repeat step 4 for several more locations. Then click Save and Disable Editing. Now when you click on one of your markers, a label will pop up with the name and your description.
  6. Adjust the centre and zoom to include all your markers on the screen, then click the second bottom icon at the right – it has two arrows and a dot and if you hover the text is Save this centre and zoom. This ensures that your map will look the same on your web page.
  7. If you want, you can change some of the appearance and behaviour of the map using the Edit map settings button (second from top in the lower bar on the right). For example, in Default Properties > Icon Properties > Icon shape you can choose a different shaped marker. Or in Default interaction properties > Display label > Define you could set the label to appear when your mouse hovers on a marker. To preview changes, you have to click Disable editing.
  8. When the map looks and behaves as you want it to, click Save and then go to Edit map settings > Advanced actions > Download.
  9. We want to copy the code from the Embed the map box, but the default size settings are not great so click iframe export options and change the height and width settings – 80% for each works quite well, but you may want to experiment with this. Then select all of the text in the box and copy it to your clipboard.
  10. Now we switch to SeaMonkey – open that software and go to the Composer tool. Add a heading to go above your map and apply styling (e.g. Heading1) to it if you want. Go to a new line after the text.
  11. Go to the <HTML> Source view. You should see your text and then somewhere just after it, a <p> tag. Paste the copied code from uMap after that tag.
  12. In the code there will be string starting: src=”//umap.openstreetmap.fr/en/map…. Between the ” and //, type “https:” so the string now looks like this: src=”https://umap.openstreetmap.fr/en/map…..
  13. Save the page, giving it a title along the way and then preview it in the browser – if everything has worked properly, your map should be showing on the page with your markers and their appearance and behaviour should be as you set them.

Going further:
What we have done is to add a layer to a base map. You can add multiple layers to a single base map, adding different kinds of information and you can also import information from an outside source – any data with geocoding (latitude and longitude information) can be displayed on a map. Google provide an  excellent tutorial which works through this using two layers and showing how to apply different styles to each. Unfortunately the My Maps service from Google is not accessible if you are logged in as a Monash student, but if you have another Google account, using that should allow you to get in. You can read the tutorial without being logged in, but if you want to make the map you do need a Google account.

Image attribution: By Image by Hill. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=309352