TLCMap builds humanities mapping infrastructure by adding to existing systems, developing new systems where humanities researcher needs are not met and getting them to work together. TLCMap is a rapid, one year program of development identifying gaps in functionality through user consultation, prioritising and developing as much as we can with available resources. Because everyone has different needs we have tried to make sure all systems can import and export data in open standard data formats of KML, GeoJSON and CSV files so you can move data to and from the systems you are interested in. Where possible, data can link back to the functionality of other systems so they all work together as a whole.

Development is always ongoing so we focus on a basic but useful prototype first, and improving and adapting to user needs. These systems may be at different stages of development.

Search and contribute to placenames in Australia with the Gazetteer of Historical Australian Placenames (GHAP, ‘The Gazetteer’ or ‘The Gazza’). The Gazza, for the first time, makes easily available aggregated data on ‘all’ placenames in Australia, based on ANPS data, including historical names. We have cleaned up coordinates for more than two thirds of 334,208 ANPS placenames and provided a user friendly search and filter interface and web service.

Search by exact or fuzzy match, for all places within a region, and apply filters to narrow results. Save results in standard formats. Because people come here to search for places, it’s also a great place to contribute your place related research so that other can find it. Whether placenames are new to the Gazza or already there, add them in (multiple instances are ‘attestations’ for people to find out about through links to your research).

The Gazza can help answer that simple question – “What’s here?”

It has two main aspects:

  1. ANPS Data: Placename data aggregated by ANPS from official state and federal records and other sources. This is the ‘official’ record of placenames.
  2. User Contributions: Information about places contributed by researchers and community. This has several functions:
    • to enhance understanding and appreciation of meaning of place in Australia, or places important to Australians (including overseas)
    • crowd source historical, indigenous and other placenames not already in the ANPS Gazetteer
    • crowd source ‘attestations’ or historical instances and mentions of placenames
    • to associate places with their many meanings
    • linking to source information and other datasets
    • provide a spatio-temporal index to humanities research and culture in and about Australia
    • provide access to this information with search and filter user interfaces, web services and visualisations and compatibility with other spatiotemporal systems

Quick tools are lightweight tools that help you do some common tasks quickly and easily.

Sometimes we just want the quickest way to find coordinates for a place, or to add coordinates and times to rows in a spreadsheet, or to find coordinates for places on an old map. If other ways involve too many clicks, this might work for you. You can also transform a series of points and dates in a ‘Journey’ KML format for animation in Temporal Earth and other systems. Make sure to save your work often as we don’t keep your data in this one!

A simple visualisation of places in the order they appear. Sometimes the order places appear is important, but they don’t have specific times – such as the route you to take to get to a place, or the order places appear in a book.

Basic statistics and network clustering for spatiotemporal data, designed for ease of use by Humanities researchers. Quantitative evidence can be important to compare information, to see patterns in data, and to demonstrate an argument. You don’t have to be a mathematician to use STMetrics, but please pay attention to the definitions for valid interpretation of results.

(prototype only) Finding mapping data relevant to humanities can be harder than you’d think. Using Heurist technology, Map Finder is a metasearch across research data repositories and registered datasets. If you have research involving spatiotemporal data it’s a good idea to deposit in a repository where Map Finder can find it, or register it with Map Finder.

Partner Tools

TLCMap has no intention of duplicating functionality or competing with other systems. We have contributed to the following systems, and integrated them to work together as a whole software ‘ecosystem’. This involves ensuring data can be imported and exported in TLCMap compliant ways, and building web services APIs for online integration.

Visualise spatiotemporal data and journeys over time, with an advanced interactive timeline. TLCMap has enhanced Temporal Earth so that anyone can display their data on it.

If you need complex relational data behind a map, or your map sits in front of a complex database or linked data, Heurist is a flexible tool for building and manipulating data in complex structures, with mapping features. There is a learning curve, but there’s no data relationship it can’t handle. TLCMap is contributing user interface enhancements and TLCMap compatibility for maps and mapping data exports.

Build networks across humanities data and connect with other researchers networked data. (TLCMap enhancements not yet complete.)

Designed for standardised long term archiving of research data, when your project is complete, it’s a good idea to describe and zip up all your data in an ROCrate for deposit in a repository such as Australian Data Archive (ADA). ROCrate serves as part of the longevity solution for digital spatiotemporal research data. TLCMap has contributed enhancements to handling of spatiotemporal attributes and testing.