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What are "connections?"

Creators: Sean Gillies
Contributors: 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 02:21 PM
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Direct place-to-place relationships allowing the construction of geographic hierarchies and networks. Rivers to seas, roads to towns, towns to ethnic regions or provinces.

Pleiades lets users create "connections" between places. "Connections" are geographic links or relationships between two places, and they are intended for creating hierarchies (settlements making up a region), networks (connecting roads to settlements or settlements to rivers), and other topological relationships (junction, overlap). It is a very coarse-grained relationship, but it does not extend to cover more general notions of proximity (e.g., "nearness").

The home page for any place lists the other places to which it makes a connection and, separately, the other places that make a connection with it. Connected places are shown in green on place maps.

For overlapping places, hierarchy can be suggested by exploiting directionality of the connection: a bridge should make a connection with a river, a pass should make a connection with a mountain range, the chief town of a tribal territory should make a connection with the place resource for that territory, a settlement should make a connection with the island on which (or the region in which) it was located. The island should connect to the archipelago and/or the body of water in which it rests. I.e., "small" places make connections with "large" places. Some examples of this technique may be seen at work in the following places:

  • Hadrian's Wall: individual forts, milecastles, turrets, and other components of the Wall network each have their own Place resources, and each of these Places makes a connection with the Place resource for the wall itself. 
  • Many of the settlements on the island of Sardinia make connections with the island.
  • Nîmes aqueduct is geographically connected with the spring at Ura Fons, with the Pont du Gard, and ultimately with the city of Nemausus.

In networks, connections should follow the direction of flow, where appropriate. Thus Pleiades can express geographic connections between rivers, ports, and unbounded bodies of water like the Ledus riverLattara, the Taurus/Volcarum Stagna, and the Gallicum Mare.

Adjoining areas (open water?) TBD