The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0554 Tuesday, 10 December 2013
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Subject: Newly Designed Map of Early Modern London (MoEML)
As I mentioned in the last digest, in addition to the rollout of the newly designed Internet Shakespeare Editions, the latest iteration of the Map of Early Modern London is also now available at http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca .
Janelle Jenstad wrote today about MoEML:
“We didn’t plan to launch the new designs for MoEML and the ISE on the very same day ... but what a triumph! The ISE’s gorgeous new design was entirely the work of Michael Best and his team. Kudos to Michael, Telka Duxbury, Maxwell Terpstra, and Sarah Milligan.”
If you are not familiar with MoEML, let me quote from the web site.
The Map of Early Modern London is comprised of four distinct, interoperable projects: a digital Map and gazetteer based on the 1560s Agas woodcut map of London; an Encyclopedia of London people, places, topics, and terms; a Library of marked-up texts rich in London toponyms; and a versioned edition of John Stow’s Survey of London.
These four projects draw data from MoEML’s five databases: a Placeography of locations (e.g., streets, sites, playhouses, taverns, churches, wards, and topographical features); a Personography of early modern Londoners, both historical and literary; an Orgography of organizations (e.g., livery companies and other corporations); a Bibliography of primary and secondary sources; and a Glossary of terms relevant to early modern London. All of the files in our databases use a common TEI tagset that enables us to work with primary and secondary texts simultaneously.
The Map will allow users to visualize, overlay, combine, and query the information in the MoEML databases that populate the Encyclopedia, Library, and Stow editions.
What is the Agas map?
Civitas Londinum is a bird’s-eye view of London first printed from woodblocks in about 1561. Widely known as the “Agas map,” from a spurious attribution to surveyor Ralph Agas (c.1540-1621), the map offers a richly detailed view both of the buildings and streets of the city and of its environment. No copies survive from 1561, but a modified version was printed in 1633. In the later version of the map, the Stuart coat of arms replaces the Elizabethan one, and the Royal Exchange, which opened in 1571, occupies the triangle created by the convergence of Threadneedle and Cornhill Streets.
MoEML and the Map
MoEML v. 5, launched on 9 December 2013, retains the map tiles from our 2006 site while we work on rebuilding the map interface. For MoEML, the map is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows us to visualize literary and historical data, a material object with its own historical and aesthetic interest, and a text in its own right.
Future Plans for the Map
We are currently working on a new edition of the Agas map, freshly scanned by the London Metropolitan Archives and then stitched together and edited by the MoEML team to create an ideal text. We are redrawing all the streets, sites, and boundaries in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and will be launching it in an OpenLayers platform to provide maximum interactivity and drawing capabilities to our users. Our edition of the map will include critical materials about the genre, accuracy, provenance, preservation, and subsequent adaptations of the map.
In mid-November on the MoEML blog, Janelle wrote the following:
Welcome to MoEML v.5!
18 November 2013 Janelle Jenstad
Welcome to the new and improved version of The Map of Early Modern London! What you see is the result of over a year of dreaming, thinking, debating, planning, implementing, testing, and tweaking. Even though we’re still working out some glitches, it’s time to point our URL at the new site and share it with the world.
Our new design, MoEML v.5, highlights the four distinct but wholly interoperable projects that make up MoEML: the Map, the Encyclopedia, the Library, and our forthcoming edition of John Stow’s Survey of London. The four tiles on the home page are repeated in the top navigation bar to make it easy to go from one project to another.
Each project now has its own drop-down menu and its own landing page, both of which will help our users (you!) see at a glance what resources are available. For example, the Encyclopedia landing page directs you to Topics, a Glossary, and our four “-ographies”: a Placeography of London locations, a Personography of historical and literary figures, an Orgography of organizations, and a Bibliography of primary and secondary resources.
We’ve freshened up the look of the site with new fonts, new colours, and a new banner, all built with accessibility issues in mind. The colours are chosen from an early modern jewel palette; the red daisy “fav” icon is inspired by the enamel flowers in the Cheapside Hoard. I hope you agree that we’ve come a long way since MoEML v.2, the HTML site that lived on the University of Windsor intranet from 2000 to 2003.
But this redesign is more than just a new look. We’ve rethought our metadata. We’re giving credit for all the activities associated with building this project, in keeping with our commitment to the Collaborators’ Bill of Rights. We have added new material to the Library. We have big plans for the Agas map and for John Stow’s Survey, the two anchors of our project. I’ll have more to say in the days ahead about MoEML v.5’s new features, one of which is this blog.
For now, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the amazing MoEML team, particularly the three people who have led the charge in the redesign. Martin Holmes, our programmer since 2011 and my co-applicant on MoEML’s current SSHRC grant, has rebuilt the site infrastructure to support this new design, somehow managing to maintain both the old site and the new for over a year. When Assistant Project Director Kim McLean-Fiander joined us in February, I discovered (with considerable relief) that she is a gifted designer in her own right. She took responsibility for the look of the site, drawing mock-ups, finding cognate projects, and reminding us to think about usability at every turn. Designer Pat Szpak gave us three great concepts at the outset of this process and has graciously responded to and realized all our suggestions since.
During the process, we’ve had two research teams come and go. Cameron Butt tackled the huge job of mocking up our menus on long sheets of brown paper on the HCMC wall back in Summer 2012. He, Michael Stevens, Nathan Phillips, Sarah Milligan and Noam Kaufman weighed in on early design choices over the 2012-2013 year. Our Summer 2013 team, Zaqir Virani in particular, was deeply involved in testing. Tye Landels, our encoder, has worked shoulder to shoulder with Martin Holmes and Kim McLean-Fiander in developing the document type taxonomy and the new menu system. I’m grateful every day to work with these astonishingly talented and committed people.
We’d be glad to have your feedback as we move forward. Let us know if you see errors or if a page feature doesn’t seem to work on your device or browser. [Note: We are aware that the site does not render well on all hand-held devices. We’re working a mobile style sheet as I write!] Tell us what you like about the site, how you use it in your research or teaching, or what you’d like to see in future versions. Just click on the “Send feedback” link on the left side of any page to send an email directly to us.