Jun 13

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Gutenkarte: Geo annotation of Gutenberg texts

Another "wow" from Where 2.0: Schuyler Erle demoed Gutenkarte, a fabulous site that uses Metacarta's geo text mining engine to link classic works from Project Gutenberg to accompanying maps. How often have you read a book and wondered about where it took place and how long it might have taken to get from here to there? Schuyler's demo, showing Thucydides' classic The History of the Peloponnesian Wars, accompanied by a map showing the locations mentioned in the text, suggests how useful MetaCarta's technology is in automatically adding geo-annotation to texts.

Gutenkarte is build in part with Openlayers.org, Metacarta's open source toolkit for associating a map with any web page.

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Comments: 2

  Kevin Farnham [06.13.06 09:59 PM]

The linking of types of information that in the past have seemed isolated is to me the greatest "value added" of Web 2.0. A few thousand years ago we knew "there is nothing new under the sun" (ecclesiates).

But if what is known in one place is fused with what is known in another place, then I think we actually do have something new "under the sun". Because we have a type of understanding that was not "readily" possible before.

Why is the "readily" so important? Because, surely the genius philosophers could trace the connections in the past (thinking of people like Augustine, Aquinas, Newton, Galileo) -- but Web 2.0 promises to make the connections explicit, revealed, to humanity in its entirety.

It is a wondrous world we inhabit today! What Gutenberg achieved centuries ago, and the Gutenberg Project, MovableType, Where 2.0, Web 2.0, et al are achieving today, is the spread of information, knowledge, from the privileged few to the educated masses. The mustard seed beckons to the observant, then becomes...

  Dan Tompkins [03.28.08 05:14 PM]

This is extremely interesting. As a teacher and scholar of Thucydides, I'm impressed, though I look forward to seeing better maps. I'll tell my students.

Very nice indeed!

Dan Tompkins
Temple University

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