[sword-devel] Maps, etc

Lamar Owen sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 10 Dec 2002 16:00:12 -0500

On Tuesday 10 December 2002 15:11, Patrick Narkinsky wrote:
> Thus spake "Lamar Owen"> :
> > There are a number of mapping packages out there, with various levels of
> > complexity.  See the www.freegis.org site for links to many mapping
> > software packages.  I use a couple of mapping packages here -- GRASS, and

> I guess I still see this as a major scholarly undertaking.  In many cases,
> the locations of various towns are matters of conjecture, not fact. (e.g.
> Jericho.)  Then, you've got to account for the way Palestine looked at
> various times.  I suppose you could get a good Biblical atlas and see where
> they put the towns, then put them in the same place on your map, but just
> having a modern map is not enough.

GRASS and GMT both handle any map files you throw at them -- they are not tied 
into any given 'modern' map.  However, they do allow overlaying and such 
things, as well as user customization of the maps.

The full GMT distribution in binary RPM form is 17MB currently -- however, one 
can pick and choose the programs one needs, as GMT has a large number of 
programs.  GRASS likewise could be trimmed down -- from 33MB to less, I'm 
sure.  The flexibility of both packages is incredible, though.  And again, 
these are just two packages I have personal experience with -- there are many 
others listed on the FreeGIS page.

GIS is about tools to assist in the major scholarly undertaking of mapping, 
not about regurgitating prepared maps from various sources.

Whether that is a SWORD issue or not is up to interpretation.  Personally, it 
would be nice to have an interface to a GIS, with some mapping data 
available, but not in the core SWORD distribution, unless you do want just 
simple PostScript or other format images to be displayed.  PostScript is good 
simply because the interpreter is to be found already for virtually all 
SWORD-supported platforms, in the form of GhostScript.  PostScript is by 
nature scalable, rotatable, and in general highly mungable.
Lamar Owen
WGCR Internet Radio
1 Peter 4:11