Logos Atlas vs. Accordance

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 4:50 AM

Mark Barnes:

Remember you can also use the Biblical Places interactive in Logos. Sometimes it's Biblical World map is a superior option.

The Atlas maps are great for showing places in different period of history, but (as you've discovered) it can be difficult to find the places you want, and I find that there's not enough detail at most zoom levels.

Remember you have the Factbook, too. There's an entry for Erech, which takes you to all relevant maps.

You also have Search Everything, which includes Atlas results.

One frustration I have in general with the maps, is keeping track of which maps/map tools require internet connections and which don't, which I suppose is just the result of a more basic frustration that an internet connection is required to access any maps at all.  I'm absolutely against having a Logos specific resource that requires an internet connection to access.  I expect (hope) that any map resource I can access via my library is totally independent of an internet connection, but I haven't gone through the process to verify that.

Another general frustration is how often the location I'm interested in does not show up as a place that can be viewed on a map when right-clicking on the location in a resource or using the "Find" option within a map/map resource.

But beyond the general frustrations noted above, I find the maps to be inconsistent in terms of what I can expect from them, even within a specific resource such as the Biblical Places Maps.  For example, within that resource, I can zoom in and out of some of the maps, but not others.  Some I can zoom using the mouse, others I can't.  Some that won't zoom with the mouse, will zoom with CTRL + and CTRL - key combinations, while others will not--and especially goofy is that of those that will zoom with the CTRL keys, I've encountered at least a couple that seem to zoom in reverse--i.e. CTRL - zooms in, while CTRL + zooms out.

I've been disappointed or hit dead-ends enough in my effort to use maps that I often find myself just deciding to forgo map usage because too often, it's proved a fruitless (or relatively fruitless) endeavor.  I'm willing to concede that my frustration may at least in part be due to a lack of understanding/training on my part, but to me it just seems that using maps should be rather straight-forward.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 5:11 AM

Rick Ausdahl:
One frustration I have in general with the maps, is keeping track of which maps/map tools require internet connections and which don't, which I suppose is just the result of a more basic frustration that an internet connection is required to access any maps at all. 

Just the maps accessible through the Atlas tool. Everything else is accessible offline.

Rick Ausdahl:
I expect (hope) that any map resource I can access via my library is totally independent of an internet connection

That's correct.

Rick Ausdahl:
Another general frustration is how often the location I'm interested in does not show up as a place that can be viewed on a map when right-clicking on the location in a resource or using the "Find" option within a map/map resource.

Most of the maps in Logos only show a subset of places. If you want to search across every map in both the Atlas Tool and your library, you should use Search Everything, or Factbook.

Rick Ausdahl:
But beyond the general frustrations noted above, I find the maps to be inconsistent in terms of what I can expect from them, even within a specific resource such as the Biblical Places Maps.  For example, within that resource, I can zoom in and out of some of the maps, but not others.

You can zoom all of them, but there's a minor bug that sometimes prevents zooming. If you find you can't zoom, just move the map slightly by grabbing it with the mouse, and you should find that zooming then works with the mousewheel.

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 6:19 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
It can already do this - just Ctrl-Click and drag... in metric too!

Ok, Thanks Devin, I had somehow missed it

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Posts 818
Josh Hunt | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 7:53 AM

I have learned some things reading this thread and decided to put it to use in today's study. I was wondering where Geliloth was in Joshua 22.10. Am I to assume it is not tagged as a place?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 8:10 AM

Josh Hunt:
I have learned some things reading this thread and decided to put it to use in today's study. I was wondering where Geliloth was in Joshua 22.10. Am I to assume it is not tagged as a place?

Most English versions translate "Geliloth near the Jordan" as "the region of the Jordan". The translation is quite uncertain. Anyway, in Logos it's been tagged as "any region" in this occurrence. The occurrence in Joshua 18:17 is normally translated as a place name however, and from there you can view the Factbook entry and map.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 8:13 AM

Josh Hunt:
Am I to assume it is not tagged as a place?

It is actually tagged as a place - but in Joshua 18

It looks as though the word in chapter 22 is different and means "region" resulting in various translations 

so probably appropriate for it to not be tagged specifically.

Posts 18857
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 8:55 AM

Veli Voipio:
It does not show the distances, probably fortunately Smile, because then it would be in miles, feet and inches. Metric system should be at least optional so that the user can turn it on once and then it stays there until the user changes it.

You can get it to show distances; just Ctrl+click and drag from point A to point B on a map. It shows the distances in both miles and kilometers, with a circle centered at point A and point B on the circumference.

Posts 260
Pastor Dan Cleghorn | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 9:03 AM

The old Logos Atlas, which was a separate program back in 2.0 days, was an excellent Atlas. You could layer the maps, select which cities you desired, even select which biblical time periods would show. I loved the 3-D maps that you could view from different angles, rotate, and see elevation gain/loss. I still have the atlas loaded on a Windows 7 machine running as an XP program. It will not work with Windows 8. Perhaps I can get it to work on Windows 10.

Posts 181
Al Het | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 12:20 PM

Yeah, I've never liked the maps in Logos.  Some of that is personal preference, as to me, many of them look cartoonish.  I also dislike that most of the maps don't orient with north at the top.  I'm not sure why they do that, but it makes the structure part of my brain go bonkers.

For nearly 20 years now, I have kept my old (ancient) version of Parsons Quickverse around.  The singular reason is because I liked the maps better than Logos.  This included Logos versions 2, 3 (Libronix), 4, and 5.  Quickverse obviously couldn't handle layers, but they had an extensive map set, and the look extremely professional.  I haven't yet installed Quickverse on my Windows 7 machine, but I suspect it won't work any more.  Makes me a little sad, just thinking about it...

I agree with others that at this point, with the complexity of Logos, they should be able to easily handle layers.

Last thing for me is, because I haven't shelled out massive money for a crossgrade or a completely new base package recently, I don't have the "right-click, atlas choice" feature.  Like Libronix, you can open the resources you want, and then choose "search open resources."  This is okay, though it searches all you have opened.  It seems to me that they really should have a "maps search," or "atlas search" feature as part of the base program.  Then again, I like maps.

Posts 191
Valerie Pobog | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 1:22 PM

I went ahead and bought the ESV Atlas in hardback http://www.amazon.com/Crossway-Bible-Atlas-John-Currid/dp/1433501929 . In it there is a CD that you load on your computer and it will search for the maps online that they have in the book. The maps are very good. You can search by keyword or reference and there are other options as well. It works for me. 

I, too am not impressed with Logos maps. I am a very avid map fan and would love to see this improved.

Posts 1442
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2015 6:36 AM

Mark Barnes:

Rick Ausdahl:
One frustration I have in general with the maps, is keeping track of which maps/map tools require internet connections and which don't, which I suppose is just the result of a more basic frustration that an internet connection is required to access any maps at all. 

Just the maps accessible through the Atlas tool. Everything else is accessible offline.

Rick Ausdahl:
I expect (hope) that any map resource I can access via my library is totally independent of an internet connection

That's correct.

Rick Ausdahl:
Another general frustration is how often the location I'm interested in does not show up as a place that can be viewed on a map when right-clicking on the location in a resource or using the "Find" option within a map/map resource.

Most of the maps in Logos only show a subset of places. If you want to search across every map in both the Atlas Tool and your library, you should use Search Everything, or Factbook.

Rick Ausdahl:
But beyond the general frustrations noted above, I find the maps to be inconsistent in terms of what I can expect from them, even within a specific resource such as the Biblical Places Maps.  For example, within that resource, I can zoom in and out of some of the maps, but not others.

You can zoom all of them, but there's a minor bug that sometimes prevents zooming. If you find you can't zoom, just move the map slightly by grabbing it with the mouse, and you should find that zooming then works with the mousewheel.

Mark,

Thank you for the replies--they are much appreciated.

As you noted, I have found using the Fact Book and the Search Everything option to provide the best chance of finding a location.  It is frustrating to have to go that route though when the location name is right there in the resource you're reading, and right-clicking on it doesn't even have an entry in the pop-up window for it as a location so you can do a search on it.

Regarding the zooming bug you mentioned that should resolve itself by moving/dragging the non-compliant maps, I'll definitely give that additional tries, but I did try doing that on a couple of maps in the past (most recently this week) and it did not resolve the situation.  I even closed and restarted Logos with no luck.  I will try again though.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 10:47 AM

I appreciate all the feedback on Atlas and other maps in Logos. We’re still working hard to make Atlas a great feature, though I’ll acknowledge we’re not there yet. To summarize a few key design decisions we’ve made (some already mentioned in this thread):

  1. The fundamental challenge is how to balance maps that are as complete in possible in their coverage, with maps that are readable and focused. So we have the 13 Biblical World maps, which provide overview information for a broad era, and the individual story maps, which serve to focus on specific stories.
    • You can see the difference clearly on the Atlas map for Ephesian Elders Meet Paul at Miletus (this just came out last week). Its nearest equivalent in the Biblical Places Maps is Paul’s Third Missionary Journey. Because the traditional-style Third Missionary Journey map covers so much territory, it’s not possible to show many of the relevant details for travel, other cities, or geography for this story.
  2. Since story maps are deliberately more narrow, if you want something broader you may prefer the Biblical Places Maps that we shipped prior to Logos 6. At this point in time, the Biblical Places Maps are also much more complete in their coverage of biblical places, while the Atlas so far only covers the life of Jesus and a substantial portion of the early church period.
  3. The most common case for many users will be looking up a place as they’re reading in their Bible. Assuming it’s a Bible with interlinear support, the best choice is probably to right-click the name or reference, select the Place entity from the right side of the context menu, and then search the Atlas for that place. That will show all the available maps.
    • We don’t have the markup to support that in other resources (though we’re working on it through Community Tags): for those resources, the best choice is to select the term and do Everything Search. That will link to Factbook pages (possibly several in the case of ambiguous names), and also show Atlas Results and other maps in the Media section.
    • You can also use the Atlas search box with a place name, passage, person name (try Silas), or biblical event.
  4. I want to second Mark Barnes’ suggestion that starting from Factbook (or Everything Search) is another good way to see the different kinds of maps that are available for a given place.

We’ve noticed some issues with Atlas server slowness that are in the queue to be addressed.

We've looked at using vector images and did some prototyping earlier this year, but our current tool for building zoomable maps doesn't yet have all the support we need. We're also eager to move to vector images as soon as we're able.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 10:52 AM

Sean Boisen:
We’re still working hard to make Atlas a great feature, though I’ll acknowledge we’re not there yet.

Thanks for your explanation Sean. I look forward to seeing the Atlas tool continue to improve.

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Posts 1064
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 11:07 AM

I really wish FaithLife would rethink the user interface for the maps. Keystrokes are great for a user who does the same tasks repeatedly day after day. For them, a CONTROL+F  or CONTROL+click is quick, easy and convenient. For the average user, though, they are a barrier. Several comments weren't aware of the features mentioned (me included), which means FaithLife put development resources into features that many users aren't benefiting from (or giving them credit for). This reminds me of some of the PC software from the 80s and 90s. You could do everything through keystrokes, but every program had its own set of keystroke commands. It was great for power users who worked with a single program all day every day, but the learning curve was very steep and many users were never able to make full use of their software.

My wish list would be for FaithLife to:

  • Keep the keystroke commands for power users;
  • Add an easily accessible menu tree for the rest of us mortals so we can find what's available when we don't know or remember the keystroke commands;
  • Provide a single "on-ramp" for the Atlas and Biblical Places tool so that users can always go to the same place to search for map information. The goal would to provide one-stop shopping, so to speak, so users can find what's available to them without having to worry about which tool to use.
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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 11:43 AM

EastTN:

I really wish FaithLife would rethink the user interface for the maps. Keystrokes are great for a user who does the same tasks repeatedly day after day. For them, a CONTROL+F  or CONTROL+click is quick, easy and convenient. For the average user, though, they are a barrier. Several comments weren't aware of the features mentioned (me included), which means FaithLife put development resources into features that many users aren't benefiting from (or giving them credit for). This reminds me of some of the PC software from the 80s and 90s. You could do everything through keystrokes, but every program had its own set of keystroke commands. It was great for power users who worked with a single program all day every day, but the learning curve was very steep and many users were never able to make full use of their software.

My wish list would be for FaithLife to:

  • Keep the keystroke commands for power users;
  • Add an easily accessible menu tree for the rest of us mortals so we can find what's available when we don't know or remember the keystroke commands;
  • Provide a single "on-ramp" for the Atlas and Biblical Places tool so that users can always go to the same place to search for map information. The goal would to provide one-stop shopping, so to speak, so users can find what's available to them without having to worry about which tool to use.

We try our best to have it both ways: keyboard shortcuts for the power user, and menus or other obvious features for others. The challenge is making the feature you want right now more visible, without making it cluttered for other people who want different features (right now).

The Panel menu has "Find (In This Panel)", which is our compromise between making this findable feature but not adding clutter. For drawing distances, I'll raise this with Eli to see what he thinks.

In our view, the single "on-ramp" is Factbook, for maps as well as other general information about places and other subjects.

Posts 1064
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 12:58 PM

Sean Boisen:

We try our best to have it both ways: keyboard shortcuts for the power user, and menus or other obvious features for others. The challenge is making the feature you want right now more visible, without making it cluttered for other people who want different features (right now).

The Panel menu has "Find (In This Panel)", which is our compromise between making this findable feature but not adding clutter. For drawing distances, I'll raise this with Eli to see what he thinks.

In our view, the single "on-ramp" is Factbook, for maps as well as other general information about places and other subjects.

Sean, thanks for your prompt response. Please don't take me wrong - I do understand how difficult it is to develop an intuitive user interface that works well for customers with very different needs and experience levels. If find it interesting that the Factbook is intended to be the single "on-ramp" for maps. Perhaps I was too focused on the name, but that wasn't obvious to me. Thanks for clarifying that.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 3:43 PM

Sean Boisen:
We’re still working hard to make Atlas a great feature, though I’ll acknowledge we’re not there yet.

When FL released L6 with Atlas, I thought, "Now, I have no reason to keep Accordance." So I gave the app to my grandson—I have learned to regret that decision. If you want to see a Bible Atlas done correctly, take a look at Accordance. I am horribly disappointed with this feature. Actually, I do not regret giving A to Neal. He very much needed a good Bible Study application. I just regret that the Logos Atlas is much less than I expected it to be.

I want a map to which I can add sites that are relevant to my current topic of study/teaching. I do not want all the clutter showing someone's interpretation  of Bible events. I want to do my own study. Is it so difficult to produce this type of atlas? Accordance accomplished this more than a decade ago.

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 22 2015 9:30 PM

Keep in mind that the L6 Atlas is very new and only been out recently and the Accordance Atlas has been out for a LONG time. I agree that the Accordance Atlas is more powerful and feature filled, although the L6 Atlas has a more "fresh" design to it. I believe as time goes on, the L6 Atlas will improve. In the meantime, I use both depending on what I'm needing to do. If I need more customization, 3D, etc., I go with Accordance Atlas. If I want a quick, fresh, clean atlas image, I go with L6.

Nathan Parker

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 23 2015 12:30 AM

Thanks for jumping in, Sean!

What I would hope to see is that eventually what Faithlife currently offers as lots and lots of completely separate maps eventually becomes a single map (or as close to a single map as can be.. the earth itself hasn't changed much over 4000 years) with lots of different optional layers, that users can combine however they want.

Each "story map" from the current system, for example, could simply be a layer, that combines relevant cities, arrows, etc. and just adds them to the map. But you could also have many other types of layers that people have mentioned in this thread (elevation, modern day cities and boundaries, etc., etc.), permit building custom maps. Just combine layers, cities, etc. as you need! 

That type of solution just seems so much simpler, probably much cheaper to develop and maintain (especially long term), and much, much more powerful for the end user.

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 23 2015 1:06 AM

One possibility is Do-It-Yourself.

Using a paint or drawing software or with a GIS, or in Google Earth, or with pencil on the paper copy of a printed map.

Below is an example what I did long time ago using a GIS program. 

At least it gives something to do for map enthusiasts so that we don't have so much time to complain

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