Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Greek Transcoder

Thanks to the Stoa

GreekTranscoder is a program which converts polytonic Greek characters written using one text encoding into another one. Its primary goal is to allow the conversion of documents using older fonts and encodings into Unicode fonts. However, it also allows converting text between older encodings as well as from Unicode into those obsolete formats.

GreekTranscoder is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Currently GreekTranscoder supports the following legacy encodings:

* Beta Code
* GreekKeys
* Ismini
* LaserGreek
* Paulina Greek
* SGreek
* SPIonic
* SuperGreek
* WinGreek (and Son of WinGreek)

And, of course, GreekTranscoder supports Unicode, using either composed or composing characters. The program lets you choose which option you wish to apply to your Unicode text. It also lets you conform to the TLG usage regarding Unicode “deprecated” codepoints. A Unicode text can be converted into Unicode itself with different conversion settings.

GreekTranscoder is distributed as a Microsoft Word document template.

Friday, June 24, 2005

APIS Funding renewed

From Rogueclassicism.

A UMichigan Press release:

The Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) has been awarded another grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—this time $370,000 to support the organization's work during the next two years, bringing the NEH's decade of support for APIS to more than $1.6 million. Since 2000, the University of Michigan's efforts have brought the international project to the forefront of research. There are 13 APIS partners in the U.S. and 15 in Europe, including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. partners will now have this new grant to support their work during the next two years. "The generous support of the NEH for nearly 10 years has made it possible to complete work on several collections in North America, many of which were neglected for several decades and were in dire need of conservation," said Traianos Gagos, U-M associate professor of papyrology and Greek and head archivist of U-M's papyrology collection. "We hope that by 2007, all notable collections on this part of the Atlantic will be available to scholars and students worldwide. Even after 2007, work will continue on the very large collections at Berkeley and the University of Michigan, which are currently cataloging and digitizing unpublished papyri, that is, texts that so far have not been accessible to scholars outside these institutions," Gagos said. Through the use of modern information technology, this virtual library of papyrological collections at http://www.lib.umich.edu/pap/ has been attracting more non-specialists to the most ancient of communications media—papyrus—making APIS a model to be followed. APIS makes it possible for viewers to explore digital images of ancient papyrus and examine detailed library catalog records about the material. Found among the U-M collection is a letter from a Greek husband to his wife. "So when you have received this letter of mine," he wrote, "make your preparations in order that you may come at once if I send for you. And when you come, bring 10 shearings of wool, six jars of olives, four jars of liquid honey, and my shield, the new one only, and my helmet. Bring also my lances. Bring also the fitting of the tent. If you find the opportunity, come here with good men. Let Nonnos come with you. Bring all our clothes when you come. When you come, bring your gold ornaments, but do not wear them on the boat." The APIS database contains more than 20,000 records, about 3,400 of them from the U-M collection. Columbia University is the technological host for APIS, offering access to the database at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/projects/digital/apis/search/.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

ESRI supply GIS tools for Big Roman Dig

(spotted on Rogue Classicism)


From 26 June to 16 July this year Time Team are hoping you will join them in the most ambitious exploration of Roman Britain ever – not just one fort, villa or even city, but the whole country – Time Team's Big Roman Dig.

The nine key digs that tell the story of Roman Britain have now been chosen and you can apply to join the team here. Plus find out about the most important location of the Big Roman Dig, the site at Dinnington.

Big Roman Dig will be working with the private company, ESRI (UK), one of the most experienced providers of enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) in the UK. As well as providing GIS technology and supporting applications, ESRI (UK) will be seconding consultants to work onsite with the production team to develop the technology in line with the changing requirements of the programme.

The team will be using a range of ESRI software including:

ArcGIS ArcView
ArcGIS 3D Analyst with ArcGlobe
MapsDirect hosted mapping services

For further information on GIS for Archaeology, visit http://www.esri.com/ industries/archaeology/index.html

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Postdoc in Humanities Computing


A new one year, fixed-term appointment will become available July 1st, 2005, for a suitably qualified Post-Doctoral Researcher to work with the University of Victoria's Text Analysis Portal for Research (TAPoR) Project, based in the Humanities Computing and Media Centre (HCMC) at the University of Victoria.

About TAPoR: TAPoR is building a unique human and computing infrastructure for text analysis across the country by establishing six regional centers (UMcMaster, UMontreal, UAlberta, UNew Brunswick, UToronto, and UVictoria) to form one national text analysis research portal. This portal will be a gateway to tools for sophisticated analysis and retrieval, along with representative texts for experimentation. The local centers will include text research laboratories with best-of-breed software and full-text servers that are coordinated into a vertical portal for the study of electronic texts. Each center will be integrated into its local research culture and, thus, some variation will exist from center to center.

TAPoR at the University of Victoria's HCMC has a multimedia laboratory and server infrastructure suitable for research into a variety of areas of Humanities Computing, including multimedia enrichment and acquisition, text representation and text analysis. UVic's newly appointed CRC Chair in Humanities Computing, and our resident computing experts, provide guidance and expertise to the 8+ TAPoR-related research projects currently under development. To learn more about UVic people and projects, see http://web.uvic.ca/hrd/tapor/index.htm.

Open Source SVG Editor

(Seen on Creative Commons Blog)


Inkscape is an open source drawing tool with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, and CorelDraw that uses the W3C standard scalable vector graphics format (SVG). Some supported SVG features include basic shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, and grouping. In addition, Inkscape supports Creative Commons meta-data, node-editing, layers, complex path operations, text-on-path, and SVG XML editing. It also imports several formats like EPS, Postscript, JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.

Inkscape's main motivation is to provide the Open Source community with a fully W3C compliant XML, SVG, and CSS2 drawing tool. Additional planned work includes conversion of the codebase from C/Gtk to C++/Gtkmm, emphasizing a lightweight core with powerful features added through an extension mechanism, and the establishment of a friendly, open, community-oriented development process.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Arts and Humanities Research Gets Technical

AHRC News & Press Releases

Researchers in the arts and humanities are set to get technical thanks to a new scheme from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Just under £1m is being awarded to support projects that will not only survey the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) activities and needs of arts and humanities researchers, but will also develop tools and resources specifically relevant to the AHRC's subject domains.

With increasing amounts of research carried out and disseminated online, it is ever more important to ensure that arts and humanities researchers have the same opportunities as academics working in the fields of science and technology. The AHRC's Strategic Initiative on ICT in Arts and Humanities research was developed in 2003 in a bid to improve these opportunities.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bodley to digitise 1 000 000 books

From the Friends of the Bodleian news

After more than a year of discussions and negotiations, the University of Oxford has concluded a mass-digitisation agreement with Google, Inc., of Mountain View, California, which should lead, over the next three years in the first instance, to the digitisation of more than 1 million of the Bodleian Library's printed books, and their worldwide availability on the Internet, through Google's popular search services and the Oxford website.

Because of copyright restrictions and intellectual property issues, the agreement between Google and Oxford covers only 'public domain' materials (i.e. printed books for which the copyright has expired - principally, books published before 1920), and it will involve the establishment in Oxford, by Google, of a digital scanning and processing unit which, when fully operational, should be capable of producing as many as 10,000 electronic books per week.

The scanning operation will lead to the creation of two digital copies of each book: one for Google, and one for Oxford. The Google copy will be fully indexed and searchable through the Google search service, while the Oxford copy will be linked directly to the relevant catalogue record in the Oxford Libraries Information Service (OLIS). For Google, this will represent a major enhancement of the quality and range of the information discovered and presented by its Internet-based services. In Oxford, the addition of so many electronic books, from the University's own collections, to its web-based library resources will not only provide a major increment in library service for users, but will also represent a significant step forward in the long-term aims of the Oxford University Library Services (OULS) in developing a 'virtual library' based on its incomparable physical collections.

More: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/news/news58.htm