Progress blog post 2

As we have said in the previous post, our main goal for this project is to create a digital map of the journeys made by Marco Polo. For this reason, we paid more attention to this part of the project, making sure that the project is feasible, and allocate more time to obtain it.

After having passed through the main source of data, which is the book “The Travels of Marco Polo”, we succeed in obtaining a digital map of the entire journey made by Marco Polo in his expeditions. This includes the initial journey from Venice to the court of Kublai Khan, the travels within China, during the service of the mentioned Mongol leader and also the return journey of the Polo family.

According to the milestones proposed at the beginning we can say that we are in schedule, we have created a digital map of each of the journey mentioned that can be accessed at the following links:

Given the fact that we have improved our existing maps from the last post, adding many other locations as finding them in the book and matching them with the modern names if necessary, we have started also to add some information about the specific places visited by Marco. We began by gathering the temporal information of these journeys. That means we have added, where we had the available information, how much time spent Marco between two specific locations or in a specific location. These are the two types of temporal information that we have confronted as reading the book.

We were faced with many problems during this stage. The mentioned temporal coordinates were resumed in the book at specifying the year when the travelers pass through a location or how much time they stayed there for different reasons, due to illness or bad weather conditions. Besides the fact that we know the duration of the whole journey whether is about the initial/return journey or the travel inside China, we don’t have information about each route that links two consecutive points from the digital map. For the ones that we have, it is specified with a highlighted polygonal line between the specific locations.

Another novelty from the last time is the digital map of the route inside China made by Marco during the service in the court of Kublai Khan, which brought him the high status and appreciation of the Khan. Unfortunately, this part was the most problematic. We didn’t have much information about the places that Marco visited during the 17 years that he was in service of the Mongol leader. So having in mind some locations clearly specified in the book and deducing from the descriptions related to landforms made by Marco, we could obtain more locations in order to build the digital map.

Forwards, we want to improve the description that it will match every location and polygonal line from the digital map. By clicking these points, the user will be able to see written details of the trip, as well as significant encounters or struggles of Marco Polo. In this way we could obtain a visual representation of the book using the digital map.