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Modifying titles and descriptions of places

Creators: Sean Gillies
Contributors: Brian Turner, Tom Elliott
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Feb 11, 2013 02:45 PM
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A quick tutorial on improving the titles and descriptions of places

We like metadata here in the Pleiades project. Everything we store has a bunch of Dublin Core metadata fields: modification time, creators, contributors, rights, title and description in particular. Most unmodified place resources in Pleiades were created from information assembled for the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Consequently, each of these derives its title from the map label of the corresponding Barrington Atlas feature, and its description from the Atlas grid cell and location or notes field of the corresponding entry in the Barrington's map-by-map directory. Because Pleiades has a very different aim and format than the Barrington, many of these titles and descriptions are inadequate. 

Improving a title or description for a Pleiades place is one of the easiest and most helpful contributions a Pleiades user can make. Consider the following example:

Untitled place in slideshow

A person that knew that this bridge is commonly known as the Puente Romano (of Salamanca) and that it has 15 arches spanning the Tormes River could dramatically improve its discoverability and presentation in Pleiades.

Making the changes is easy:

  1. Log in
  2. From the "Actions" menu in the grey UI bar under the View/Edit/Sharing/etc document tabs, select "Check out." This makes a working copy of the place that can be edited while the original remains available to the public and locked against other edits. By default, this draft working copy is invisible to the public, or other users, with the exception of system administrators.
  3. Click the "Edit" document tab.
  4. Within the editing form, change the "Title" and "Description" fields to appropriate values that are supported by the works already cited in the place resource (O’Connor 1993, 115-16 in the case of Salamanca's Puente Romano), archaeological resources online, or something from Perseus (Smith, PECS, etc).
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the form and write a brief but useful "Change note."
  6. Click "Save."

That's all there is to editing the working copy, but one final action is needed to push these change along to the editors for review and publication. After the title and description are looking good, select "Submit" from the "State" menu in the grey UI bar to the left of "Actions." A reviewer will in due course evaluate the changes, check that references are provided, and either check the working copy in and update the published copy of the place, or send it back for revision with notes that can be viewed in the "History" document tab.