Building an Interactive Map of the Roman Empire

It’s always interesting to see how the maps change throughout history, they are one of the most powerful visual ways to see historic information. Below is an example of a map for the Roman Empire, which lasted a few centuries and included large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia.

The plugin itself doesn’t include a map of Roman Empire regions, but since we can use custom geoJson files, after some online search I came across a map for it which I then adapted to use with the plugin, also using the overlay option to display it in the normal world map focused on the Mediterranean sea.

Live filter on map with vector icons

The challenge today was to replicate an existing map that a client already had online in a website, but needed more flexibility. Requirements:

For this project we used the overlay technique, which allows us to display multiple maps in the same base map and filter them if necessary either with a legend or an external live filter. So we create 4 maps:

  • Map for International Projects
  • Map for National Projects
  • Map for Biennials
  • Base map, with the 3 maps above in overlay

This is the result:

  • All
  • Bienals
  • International Projects
  • Nacional Projects

It’s worth noting also that we used the option to load content from a raw data source, a specific CSV format. This allowed us to import the data from the already existing map.

If you want to replicate a specific map let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Venice Map using custom source

While the plugin doesn’t include city maps, you can use custom geojson files as the source for the maps. I followed the instructions and got the source for the map of Venice (Italy) and placed it on github to be able to use it with the plugin. Here’s the result below:

The map for Venice might not be the best example, since we would expect to see the water areas. Unfortunately those maps are more dificult to come by, since it’s much easier to find region/city maps divided by administrative borders. However this is an example on how you can display maps that the plugin doesn’t include.

Feel free to contact us with any questions on how to achieve this.

Lithuania Municipalities Map

Although the plugin doesn’t include a map for Lithuania divided by its municipalities, we can use a custom geoJSON file to create a map. I tried to extract the shapes for the Lithuanian municipalities using QGIS and followed instructions on how to setup a custom map source.

After struggling a bit with missing region shapes from the QGIS export file, I ended up searching online for available geoJSON files for Lithuania and found a geoJSON file online in a GitHub repository.

I then hosted the custom geoJSON file on Github Gist to make it easier to reference it on the map edit screen.

This is an example that you can use custom geoJSON files to create maps and often you can find the source files you need online.

If you have any question on how to achieve this, feel free to contact us.