Vici.org, a crowd sourced Roman map

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Vici.org, a crowd sourced Roman map. Presentation given at Digital Humanities Benelux 2014 in The Hague.

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  • started as a father, not a scientist
    work for KB, this spare time
  • fort vechten, water line defensive line, 19th century
    learned there was also roman fort, a harbour, a road, vicus, etc. but where?
  • here we ‚see’ the site of the roman fort…
  • I wanted something like this
  • looked for info in the internet, to find what was where,
    came across a small part of a copy of a roman map, played with it and made a small routeplanner
  • bumped into data by Richard Talbert, a map for the whole empire, pretty exciting, lots of media attention, but not my primary goal
  • returned to my original goal, be able to ‚see’ of what was where in roman times
    started a simple webapp, markers, lines and overlay images, in need of a backend
  • origin of the users (June 2014)
  • adding markers
  • two thirds added by me by importing datasets from all over…
  • Vici.org, a crowd sourced Roman map

    1. 1. vici.org, a crowd sourced Roman map René Voorburg, DH2014, The Hague rene@digitopia.nl
    2. 2. Introduction
    3. 3. location aware HTML5 static JSON data
    4. 4. Design considerations • When creating a database backend, why not opening it up for others to add / edit data? • If others provide data, why not help them to retrieve and access the data? • Wikipedia as a model, but maps central & multi-lingual • Map embeddable by other websites • Open JSON API, Pelagios RDF, downloads
    5. 5. Core functionality Users can add: • Markers (since February 2012) • Images (since May 2013) • KML line tracings (March 2014) .. but no real community supporting features as of yet.
    6. 6. User engagement
    7. 7. User engagement summarized • 200 activated user accounts • 68 users added markers • 6073 markers added by users • 90% of all markers were added by 9 users. (June 2014)
    8. 8. Discussion • How to attract users beyond NL, DE and BE? • What did the 132 users that only registered expect? • Populating the map ’enough’ appears to have been essential in engaging users • Will an investment in community features pay off? • Stuck in the middle between science and marketing?

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