Princeton University Press

Ancient Civilizations Explored

The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World App

Princeton University Press

App Conceptualization, Design/Development, Product Marketing

Hailed by the New York Times as "the best geography of the ancient world ever achieved" and deemed by classicist Bernard Knox to be "an indispensable tool for historians concerned with ancient times" as well as "a source of great pleasure for the amateur," the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World was already a huge success.

To achieve its 21st Century objective, Princeton University Press first considered offering it as an eBook, but we set our sights on something greater: an full-feature, interactive iPad app that allows for deeper engagement and learning.

Product Conceptualization
UX/UI Design
App Development
Educational Technology

Capturing Antiquity

The first challenge to creating a digital version of this tome was a practical one. We had to create digital versions of each map, none of which had been done before. High-resolution scans were made of the original color separations. Combining four plates per map was a Herculean task, well worth the effort. The result? An accurate digital remastering of this information, ready for Apple Retina displays.

DELIVERABLES INCLUDED: Image Capture, Digital Archiving

The Ancient World, Indexed

To access the information found in the Barrington Atlas on an iPad, we developed an interactive gazetteer, an index of over twenty-thousand individual coordinates which pinpoint locations of interest found in the maps. As this was the first time this content had been digitized, each coordinate set had to be hand-programmed into a searchable database. This process had an added layer of complexity to it: The maps have varying grid and scale systems. We developed the gazetteer to allow for this variance seamlessly, just as a user might adapt to it with the printed book. Search, tap, view, bookmark favorite locations… It couldn’t be easier.

DELIVERABLES INCLUDED: Database Development, Indexing

Clean Design, Effortless Interaction

The maps contained in The Barrington Atlas were beautifully crafted and highly detailed. Developing a user interface that was transparent was essential to maintaining the elegance of the printed atlas. Our UX/UI design required us to use a light but thorough touch, and included an iconography system, menus and other interactive elements that pair perfectly with the existing content while asking little from the user.

During the design process, we created a feature that is impossible with the printed atlas: Users can connect separate, adjoining maps for seamless, extended exploration of a region. Try doing that with a printed atlas without getting thrown out of the library.


The Barrington Atlas App

Designed exclusively for the iPad, the app is available for iPad 2 and above. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World app has received a QED Seal* for quality in eBook design.