Saturday, May 17, 2014

All Maps Lead to Rome

Digital Augustan Rome is an online interactive map of ancient Rome, as it looked around A.D. 14. The map is an accurate depiction of the size, location, and orientation of the various structures, roads, and water systems of the city at a pivotal phase in its transformation into the imperial capital.

The map includes points of interest throughout the city, so it is a great resource for learning about the buildings and the life of the Romans. The map even includes a terrain overlay which shows the city’s historical topography at the time of Augustus.

Cartography geeks will also be very interested in how the map was made. Making the Map is a fascinating article explaining the cartographic resources used and the processes undertaken to create this gorgeous interactive map of ancient Rome.

If you want to create your own Roman map you can use the Pelagios Project. The Pelagios Project has released Roman Empire map tiles that can be used with the Google Maps API. They have released a demo map, Digital Map of the Roman Empire, which shows how the map can be used with the Maps API.

If you want to search the map for ancient world place names then you should check out the Pleiades website. Pleiades is a great resource for anyone interested in the history and geography of the ancient world. The site is a community based and open-sourced gazette of ancient places.

If you search Pleiades for a Roman place name you can view the location on a map. On the displayed map you need to select the 'Imperium' map layer to view the Roman Empire map tiles.

Of course all these Roman maps aren't much use if we don't know how to get from point A to point Rome. What we need is a Roman route-planner.

Omnes Viae: Itinerarium Romanum is just such a route planner, which can hep you navigate the Roman Empire using the roads and shipping lanes available to the ancient Romans. 

Omnes Viae is based on an ancient Roman map known as the 'Tabula Peutingeriana' and allows you to plan a route that contains all the main roads and cities of the Roman Empire. Routes generated by Omnes Viae list the towns and cites and also the river crossings on your trip in the map sidebar and displays the actual route on a Google Map. is a Google Map that lets you find the location of buildings and artifacts from the Roman Empire.

Using the map it is possible to search for Roman remains near a particular location. It is possible to view the data on Google Maps or on top of the Pelagios Roman map tiles. is inspired by Wikipedia. Anyone can add content to the map and all content is available under the Creative Commons Attribution / Share Alike license.

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