Add MoEML Locations to the Agas Map (User version)

Introduction to the Agas Map

Our implementation of the Agas Map is based on the OpenLayers 4.6 library and presents the map as a tiled image at a range of different resolutions.1 Locations are plotted on the map in three forms: Each of these forms serve a different purpose, depending on the type of location you are encoding; each of these shapes and their purposes are discussed in more detail below.
The information used to display locations is provided to the map through two JSON files:
  • categories.json: provides information about all the location categories in our document type taxonomy
  • agasLocations.json: provides information about the locations, including each location’s document type(s) and the list of referring documents
These files are created during the static build process and are generated from the metadata contained within the TEI location files.
The Agas Map interface can also be used to create new shapes, lines, and points for locations, which can be either associated with a location file or can be used more generally to interact and draw on the map. This document will explain how to do both.

Creating a Polygon

To create a polygon shape, first zoom right into the map so that the shape you want to outline is taking up most of the window. In this example, we’re going to outline St. Mary Woolchurch:
Then choose Polygon from the Draw a shape drop-down list:
A red box appears at the bottom of the screen. We’ll see the purpose of this later. You’ll notice that the cursor turns to a blue point. Now you can click on one of the corners of the object to add a point. Move your mouse to the next corner, and click there to add the next point:
Keep adding points until you have outlined the whole object:
Click back on the original starting point to complete the shape.
Two things will happen: the shape will change colour to show that is is complete, and in the red box, a block of XML code will appear. This is the TEI <surface> element that you need to add into the location file for the place. You do not need to worry about this script, unless you would like to suggest an addition or a change .
What if your shape is not perfect first time around? You can easily edit it after it’s completed. Put your mouse over one of the existing points to click and move it; put your mouse over one of the lines to add a new point. Every time you make a change to the shape, the XML in the red box will update itself automatically.
If you need to delete one of the nodes in your shape, press the Shift key and click on it.
It is best to have the map zoomed to its maximum size when you create the shape, because you’ll be more accurate. If you’re outlining a large area, this may mean that the shape does not completely fit on the screen. Don’t worry about this; even while you’re in the middle of drawing the shape, you can still click and hold (hold down the mouse button), drag the map around, and release without adding a new point in your shape. It’s only when you click and release immediately that a new point is added.

Creating MultiLineStrings

While we usually draw buildings as shapes, streets are drawn as MultiLineStrings (in other words, a series of connected lines). The process is exactly the same as for Polygons, except that to finish the shape, you just double-click on the last point. When tracing a street, start the line in the middle of the junction where the street starts, and end in the middle of the junction where it ends. Keep the line in the middle of the street.

Creating Points

Some locations cannot be precisely outlined, perhaps because although we know approximately where they were, they do not actually appear on the map. You can use a Point for this.
Creating a Point is the simplest process of all: select Point from the drop-down list, then click on the location.

Bookmarking Shapes

Just as you can bookmark locations or sets of locations, you can also bookmark a shape you have created. This can be handy if you’re emailing someone and would like to refer to a specific location on the map, if you would like to suggest a particular location for inclusion, or if you would like to share a custom shape that does not belong in the database.2 To do this, simply create the shape as you normally would, and then when you’ve finished, press the Bookmark button. A long, inscrutable URL will be created and a popup alert will tell you that it is about to redirect you to the bookmarked URL.
Press OK and the page will redirect you to the bookmark URL. Once the page has reloaded, you can copy and paste the entire URL in the address bar. If you plug this URL into a browser, the map will recreate the shape and zoom to it, also showing the TEI <surface> element at the bottom of the screen.

Downloading an Image

In order to download an image of the shape that you drew on the map, hover your curser to the top banner of the page, and click on the images icon (shown below). Note that when you hover over the appropriate icon, the pop-up should say: Save this state of the map as a static image.


  1. The OpenLayers implementation of the Agas map was first created in 2014, replacing the old star map. (MDH)
  2. See, for instance, the footnote in Silver Street, which shows the house that Shakespeare may have lived in during his stay on Silver Street. (MDH)

Cite this page

MLA citation

Holmes, Martin D. Add MoEML Locations to the Agas Map (User version). The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Holmes, Martin D. Add MoEML Locations to the Agas Map (User version). The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Holmes, M. D. 2022. Add MoEML Locations to the Agas Map (User version). In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Holmes, Martin
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Add MoEML Locations to the Agas Map (User version)
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#HOLM3"><surname>Holmes</surname>, <forename>Martin</forename> <forename>D.</forename></name></author> <title level="a">Add MoEML Locations to the Agas Map (User version)</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>.</bibl>