Giovanni d'Andrea - Mapping Law in Medieval Spain

Using metadata to chart and map the location of manuscripts in Spain



The Giovanni d'Andrea Mapping Law in Medieval Spain project was created as a pilot project to demonstrate the use of the vHMML Data Portal for creating digital humanities projects based on metadata found in vHMML Reading Room.


The records included in this project derive from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library microfilm project completed in Spain during the 1970s. It does not pretend to be an exhaustive list of Giovanni d'Andrea's manuscripts in Spain, but rather an example of using basic Geocharting to visualize the location of and size of current collections.

Due to advances in metadata harvesting, Dr. Daniel K. Gullo used JSON exported from vHMML Data Portal to create two visualization of the Giovanni d'Andrea's manuscripts: a catalog to provide easy access to vHMML Reading Room and a map to view location of these manuscripts in their current libraries.


The JSON data was first converted into a .CSV file using Sqlify and then imported into Google Sheets. then added using Awesome Table it was rendered on a page using JAVA script.

The data used to create the map was harvested and converted using the same procedures. However, unlike the manuscript catalog database, data for longitude and latitude had to be manually entered in order to Geochart the collection using the JAVA script tool in Awesome Table. This data also required the use of an array to properly select a color code for each library, which too involved manual input of the code.

With the data prepared for Awesome Table, the file was exported from Google Sheets as a .CSV and imported into This with Datawrapper some custom addition of html style codes was added within the application to stylize the format.





Metadata was corrected and prepared by Dr. Daniel K. Gullo. From the corrected records Ms. Eileen L. Smith prepared the authority files for authors and titles for importing into vHMML Reading Room.


Import of metadata

Metadata was imported into vHMML Reading Room and checked for errors.


Curated search in vHMML Data Portal

Each archive was searched by country of origin and name. The the full metadata was exported in JSON. This initial dataset became the master dataset for both the catalog and the map.


Sqlify conversion of JSON and upload into Google Sheets

We used Sqlify to convert the JSON into .CSV files, selected only those fields from the schema needed for the project. These .CSV files were then uploaded into two Google Sheets, with the map Google Sheet having manual data added.


Modify Google Sheets and Link to Awesome Table

Following the documentation of Awesome Table we created two projects, one as a catalog, and the other as a timeline, using Awesome Table. We set the parameters within the application and copied the JAVA script into the iframe of the final website.


Data Imported into Datawrapper

Using the data prepared for Awesome Tables, a file was downloaded from Google Sheets as .CSV and imported into Data was organized and modified to fit the application and custom HTML was used to stylize the tooltips.


Seeing how digital technologies can map the transmission of manuscripts and link to the object is becoming an important tool for studying the transmission of knowledge in Europe, and the influence of little known, but important authors.

Lead developer

Dr. Daniel K. Gullo

Daniel K. Gullo is the Joseph S. Micallef Curator of the Malta Study Center and Coordinator of Digital Humanities Projects at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

The ability to create databases that can serve as resources for digital humanities projects depends on the control of the data as it enters the system. The time-honored rules for authorities are creating a powerful tool for research.

Metadata librarian

Eileen L. Smith

Eileen L. Smith is the Metadata Librarian and a Cataloger at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library