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Boston Workshop, January 2018

Creators: Tom Elliott Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jan 05, 2018 01:07 PM
A three-hour workshop on Pleiades and related tools and techniques will be held in Boston on Friday, January 5, 1:45 - 4:45 pm.

I am happy to announce that the Archaeological Institute of America has accepted a joint proposal from Sarah Bond and myself to conduct a Pleiades-related workshop at the AIA's annual meeting, which will convene in Boston on 4-7 January 2018. UPDATE: According to the preliminary program, the workshop will will run for 3 hours on Friday, January 5th, from 1:45 - 4:45 p.m. (session 3J).

Bombogenesis Update: Join the hangout.

Here's the abstract we submitted, which will hopefully give you some idea of what we're planning:

Turning Spatial with Pleiades: Creating, Teaching, and Publishing Maps in Ancient Studies

In 2017, the AIA honored the Pleiades Community with its award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology. Pleiades ( is an online, open gazetteer of ancient places, funded in large part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, that expands and diversifies the data collected for the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World.  

Spatial approaches, geographic analysis, and cartographic visualizations have been essential parts of archaeological practice for decades, proliferating and becoming more complex since the mid 1990s thanks to more affordable desktop Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and improved technologies for remote sensing. Now we can position this practice within the interdisciplinary "spatial humanities," a loose set of approaches to modeling, contextualizing, and analyzing objects, texts, images, and information in spatial terms. Yet core scholarly and pedagogical tasks -- particularly those involving the making of maps -- remain challenging for many colleagues and their students. Poor availability of data (or just poor data), as well as a lack of guidance and training for software and methods, underpin much of the problem. This workshop is designed to address these challenges head-on.  

The workshop will focus on ways that Pleiades and its partner resources can be used to involve undergraduates in scholarly research; to prepare maps for teaching, presentation, and publication; and to connect one's own digital projects to the scholarly graph of Linked Open Data for ancient studies. In particular, we aim to teach participants -- through hands-on instruction -- to create dynamic digital maps that can be printed or placed in presentations for class use and to construct research plans and student projects that rely on "the Pleiades ecosystem" for source data and tooling.

We will begin with five-minute overview talks from each of the presenters, all of whom use Pleiades in their teaching and research. Each will address a key aspect of the workshop's theme. Then participants will be invited to visit -- laptops in hand -- one of several tables set up in the workshop space, each devoted to one of these key areas. We will highlight the arc from research problem or pedagogical goal, through data collection, to finished map or geographic dataset, encouraging participants to move from one table to the next as they move along this arc. Participants will be invited to bring their own research or teaching datasets, but an example dataset focused on material culture from the Augustan period will also be made available.