The Atlas Strategy

(Josef Kreitmayer) #1

Following a thematic introduction, into possibilities to further develop or implement the Atlas Strategy:

The Atlas strategy

It is very well implemented by Semeoz:
@Maia The atlas is very impressive.

  • Do you think a possible goal for 2019 could be to enable others to produce something similar in their languages, or possibly co-develop a multi-lingual version of semeoz with others?

  • You created it as a wordpress installation. Would it acutally be possible to make a copy of the wordpress instalation without the content, and have other communities reproduce it in their languages?

  • Looking at the beautyful interface you created, it is a pitty, that the attempt of people in the transformap ecosystem, implemented with a mediawiki (Link here), consumed a lot of work (of e.g. @toka, @alabaeye, and many others) and unfortunately did produce mainly a wasteland of text.

It is very well visible, that the Semeoz implementation is well embeded in a bigger picture, built with purpose and the end user in mind. It is a delight to share and show people the existence of all these maps, it would be great to enable more people to create such a beautiful atlas to show them in their languages.

Some prior conversations on the topic were:

What potential next steps would you see to further the Atlas Strategy in 2019?

(Maïa Dereva) #2

Hi @josefkreitmayer, I’m glad you like Semeoz.
When I started it in 2015, I installed a multisite version of Wordpress: in my mind, it was obvious that the site had to be multilingual. But resources were lacking for this, and in version 2, I removed the multisite version to keep only a simple Wordpress.

To answer your questions:

  • Yes I think it is a possible objective for 2019, but only if I am not alone on this project. I can help, but I can’t be a driving force. I can also help create map thumbnails in other languages (they are much more relevant if they are created by hand and not with an automatic tool).
  • I am obviously ready to help with anything that could go in the direction of a “pretty” Atlas (user-oriented as you say): I can give access to the theme, to the data structure, to anything that can be useful…
  • When we synchronized the Transformap wiki and Worpress site maps, I thought it was important to code something so that this synchronization could be automatic between the two media, but I am not a developer, and no one had the time and/or interest to look at it. I agree with you, it’s a pity.

About the list of initiatives, I stopped entering them in Semeoz and preferred to help develop a platform called which contains so much more data and is now online.

What remains really original in Semeoz is the map collection and the list of constructive media.

I would therefore be ready to imagine a redesign of the site so that it becomes multilingual and highlights these two aspects. Let’s talk about it with motivated people :slight_smile:

(Jon Richter) #3

For a functional atlas, it appears more important to me to have a collaborative interface that allows curation of high-quality metadata. Also following the good practices in using widely recognised data catalogue metadata standards are largely prohibited by using WordPress as a platform, though not impossible.

I suggest not to be picky here on what users will see, but to be picky about how the collection of maps can be reused from outside the system. Often we forget the step to collectively formulate the actual problem, which we attempt to solve here. In talking together, we will find out that we have many different requirements towards such an atlas.

Let’s collect them in structured form, and not be dazzled by a shiny form, which ought to follow function. Visuals come second, data first.

(Jon Richter) #4

To stick with the term, we could call it the Atlasing strategy, to be more precise. What we observe is the proliferation of atlases, in different forms of collections of maps. We have curated interfaces, collaborative wikis, mapping mashups and aggregatiors like or


the transformaps atlas and geospatial mapping and

we also see an atlas of atlasses as a dedicated category emerging. How would we spend close attention at those, too? There are now also hybrid atlasses, which feature virtual and physical maps., Proposal for A Critical Atlas, Release-Event: “This Is Not an Atlas – This Is a Counter-Cartographies Convergence”

There is also quite a fair chance that we could reuse the Wikibase for the atlas data, what do you think @toka? Then it remains easily editable, but can also be powering more advanced visualisations as metadata. @maxlath will be our infinite spring of detail knowledge that we are missing along the way. This may accidentally also help us to solve

while we are starting to think how to use vocabularies defined through Wikibase in JSON-LD at

This could also possibly spare us having to play with GeoDCAT-AP and JSON-LD Frames for DCAT catalogs and datasets for generic interfaces, like the MELODIES Tech Demo, through CKAN.