Data Package for The area told as a story

by Øyvind Eide, PhD student, King's College London


  1. Introduction
  2. The source code for GeoModelText
  3. Documentation for GeoModelText
  4. A runnable version of GeoModelText
  5. An overview of the tools used to analyse further the output from GeoModelText
  6. The lab diary and other notes
  7. References

1. Introduction

This data package is connected to my PhD project at King's College London, Department of Digital Humanities. The thesis will be submitted in late August 2012, with the viva planned for October 2012.

A link to the thesis will be added here later.

The main goal of the data package is to enable the user to understand better how the actual research was performed. What is to be found here can be compared to written notes and laboratory equipment, and everything is presented "as is". In order to follow the scholarly argument, the thesis should be read. The data package is described in the following way in the thesis:

The data package should make it possible to follow the historical development of the project. However, this thesis is a better source for understanding the results and the scholarly argument connected to them. The text of the thesis includes a level of interpretation which is mostly lacking from the data package.

In order to use the software in its current version unchanged, the user will need to study Schnitler (1962), using similar methods to the ones I used. The tool is linked to the task. As an analogy, the tool developed here cannot be compared to any mechanical tool you would buy in a hardware store. It is more like a tool made by a mechanic in his workshop in order to solve one specific problem, such as lubricating one part of a modified engine. Parts of the tool may be useful for something else later, but only after modification.

Such after-use may happen at two different levels. First, the methods developed, from the general concepts down to specific windows, can be used as an inspiration for other types of work. Second, the code itself, from the full application to smaller parts solving specific problems, can be used in other contexts. These potential uses are, however, not part of the main goal of the research, and they will only come as additions to the basic research outcome. I have made the code available for such re-use because I think it may be useful, and would be happy to assist potential users in such work afterwards. I would really like to see parts of my code finding its place within existing free software systems (Eide 2012, 271).

In the following, each part will be described in more detail.

2. The source code for GeoModelText

The sourcecode is available from Sourceforge. The specific catalog for the latest version of the code is here.

3. Documentation for GeoModelText

Documentation exist on three levels. First, the use of the application is documented in part II of the thesis. Second, there is a technical documentation in prose, documenting the application as well as how it is used. Third, the low level java documentation is available. In addition to this, the comments in the source code itself will give additional detailed information.

In addition to this, a tracker of bugs and feature requests was maintained during most of the development. It can be found in the Sourceforge tracing system. On of the things it documents is how many branches of development were stopped because they were not really necessary.

The tool is developed in Java version 6. In addition to standard libraries, Jena, a library for RDF data, was used. URL: (checked 2011-11-28)

4. A runnable version of GeoModelText

The program is available for Linux, OsX and Windows. It has been texted on all platforms, but not extensively. Java 1.6 or newer must be installed and available. The data files are loaded from the web and data cannot be saved from these versions. In order to make a version from which data can be saved, either the exact catalog structure found in the application sourcecode must be reproduced (see the constant PATH_STORED_FILES in the main class GeoModel) or the sourcecode must be modified.

Once the application is started, it will take a little while before the window becomes visible.

The installation procedures are as follows:


  1. Download GeoModelText_linux.tgz
  2. Unpack the file in an empty directory: tar -xzf GeoModelText_linux.tgz
  3. cd to the directory where two files should be: GeoModelText-1.1.3.jar and
  4. Make sure the latter file is runnable: chmod 755
  5. Run the file: ./


  1. Download
  2. Put the file in an empty folder and double click it in order to unpack it
  3. Open a terminal window and cd to the folder where the file was unpacked, where the two files should be: GeoModelText-1.1.3.jar and
  4. Make sure the latter file is runnable: chmod 755
  5. Run the file: ./


  1. Download
  2. Put the file in an empty folder and double click it in order to unpack it
  3. Open the folder and doubleclick on geomodeltext.bat

TODO: check the application once more on the three platforms.

5. An overview of external tools

The following tools have been important in the work:

Tool Description URL
gruff Used to visualise RDF graphs. (checked 2012-06-29).
Quantum GIS Used to produce and explore maps. (checked 2012-01-25)
Oxygen XML editor, used for external analysis of input as well as output files. (checked 2011-11-20)
Safari Web browser. Used to display SVG data. (checked 2012-02-07)

6. Lab diary and other notes

Lab diary

The lab diary consists of notes made during the process of modelling. They should be read as ``thoughts in action'' and are not conclusive. See the thesis text for a scholarly presentation of the results from the PhD project.

These lab notes should be read in connection with the source code for the application and with the data files used in the project.


A number of files are loaded by the application on startup:

If they are not found in the correct catalogues, the application will run in demo mode and fetch the files from the web.

Export files

Different types of files are exported from GeoModelText as part of the experiments. Some examples of such files are included here:

  • Example RDF file for paragraph 42677. This is an XML linearisation of the part of the RDF model of this specific paragraph.
  • Example GML file for paragraph 42677. This is the map vector data based on the RDF model above.
  • Example GFS and QGS files for paragraph 42677. These files will, together with the GML file above, make a formatted map complete with symbols if opened in qGIS.
  • Example log file for paragraph 42677. The name of the file is slightly misleading; rather than errors, the file contains general log information.

Paragraph 42677 is discussed in Eide (2012, 158–162), and the map above is printed as one of the two versions there.


Eide, Ø. (Forthcoming 2012). The area told as a story. An inquiry into the relationship between verbal and map-based expressions of geographical information. PhD thesis, King's College London.

Schnitler, P. (1962). Major Peter Schnitlers grenseeksaminasjonsprotokoller 1742–1745. 1. Oslo: Norsk historisk kjeldeskrift-institutt.

Last updated 2012-09-01 Øyvind Eide.