Upgrades to Skills, Speed, and Searching

I have learned more than I can catalogue since making my first Bible-related data visualization over six years ago. Over time, the visualizations have expanded with new technology releases and skills I’ve gained. Now, the things I want to make require tools more sophisticated than Tableau. Before beginning that phase, I updated existing pages with mobile-friendly views, improved loading performance, a new map style, and expanded search capabilities. Here are the details:

  1. The Passages page is now viewable on a phone. It displays: the passage text, compact timeline, top people, words, and topics, and a map of places. I’d like to thank Arturo Tellez for his help with this view.
  2. Under-the-hood improvements help the main pages load faster. This includes: Explore, Passages,People, Places, and Periods.
  3. Expanded search options. You can now search on more fields. Clicking on a chart will show a link to “Search for…” For example: search for Edom (a place), 590 BC,  Judah (person), or meditation (topic).
  4. Search result indicator on the Passages page. Now it is more clear what results are in view, and you have the option to remove that filter.
  5. New map background on the Places page. The tiles are from the Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It reflects terrain and waterways as we think they looked during the Roman Empire.
  6. Simplified map markers on the Places page to make things more readable.
  7. Added a “highlight” input to quickly find a place by name on the Places page.

Apart from minor improvements or error corrections, this will be my last update to Tableau-based visualizations. I’m inspired to do more mapping after finding the Ancient World Mapping Center, the Pleiades project, and many associated resources. The maps I envision will need richer data, sophisticated technology, and as much help as I can get.

Keep an eye on this blog for announcements and plans to begin building a modern, fast, web-accessible, detailed map that’s linked directly to the text of the Bible. I’m excited about this new direction and I hope others will join me as the project moves forward.

A section of the phone-friendly Passages layout.

New background from the Ancient World Mapping Center.
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