Work ending, but Day of DH continues

It is after 4:30 PM, and the work day is coming to a close, by my Day of DH will continue.  I am heading off shortly to see an AIA-sponsored lecture at the University of Virginia, “Recutting Portraits of Roman Emperors: Problems in Interpretation and the Use of New Technology in Finding Possible Solutions” presented by John Pollini of the University of Southern California.  “New Technology” implies a DH/computation archaeology theme for the lecture, and I will report back what I learn, though don’t look for live tweets, as I often do not tweet from conferences or during presentations.

Mapping the ancient world (with SPARQL!)

Today was a typically productive work day.  I work from home–usually from my desktop computer in my upstairs office, but today I decided to work on my laptop on my recliner in the living room, with Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes playing on the TV in the background.  I love working at home through my employer, The American Numismatic Society; I could not imagine going back to an office environment.  I think I’m much more productive at home anyway.

As I discussed this morning, I planned to further the development of the new prototype for  I made good progress in this respect.  By lunch time, I wrote a pipeline in Cocoon that would serve as a wrapper for our Fuseki RDF triplestore.  After taking the lunch break, I delved more deeply into recreating the mapping portions of Nomisma, but instead of static KML files employed by the current wiki system, I’m using XSLT stylesheets and Cocoon pipelines to generate KML dynamically from SPARQL queries, rendering the maps in OpenLayers.


Compare to the map on

This map shows all of the findspots (predominantly from the Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards) for coins minted at Ephesus.

There is much work remaining to be done on this transition from the wiki to a more sustainable framework, but I feel pretty good about what I have accomplished today.  I think it’s possible to roll the new system out by the end of summer.

A day of digital numismatics

My last few months have been incredibly busy as I have focused on the public release of of Coin Hoards of the Roman Republic leading up to the Computer Applications in Archaeology conference two weeks ago, and currently I am working on updates to OCRE (Online Coins of the Roman Empire) in preparation of a European coin find/ meeting in Carnuntum, Austria in less than two weeks.  Part of this includes building a new interface for Nomisma, which is what I plan on working on today.  Currently, Nomisma is powered by a wiki, pmwiki I think, and so we want to move it into a better framework.  The wiki software, for example, doesn’t handle all of the allowable characters for a URI, meaning we cannot represent some numismatic concepts which use parentheses (like second edition Roman imperial coin types from RIC)We haven’t decided what the framework architecture will be in the long-term, but we’ll use Cocoon for now.  We can use Cocoon to build APIs which are sorely lacking in Nomisma, as well as use it to create an interface between Nomisma and the Fuseki-based RDF triplestore, which I detailed not long ago on the Numishare blog.  Today, I’ll write mainly about the progress I have made in developing the new interface, as well as other DH-related musings.