7.2 Notes on the program

by Rob Sands


Calmap displays sites from the Mesolithic of Scotland. It has been developed to illustrate those sites with radiocarbon determinations from the earliest occupation up to 6000BP, in order to set the site at Fife Ness into some context. Only sites with secure archaeological contexts for their dates have been included.

In simple terms, the user chooses a date using a scrollbar and the program displays the range of sites that might possibly be present depending on the calibrated radiocarbon information from those sites. The sites show up in differing colours depending on the calibrated probability of presence. The statistical method behind this is discussed in more depth by Magnar Dalland. Each site can then be clicked to provide more detail about the specific dates and archaeological context. Information about using Calmap can be found on the Calmap help page.

When a site is clicked on for more information it will appear in a separate browser window. On Netscape this window will pop up full size in front of the Calmap screen. If clicking on a site does not appear to work it is possible that the window is already displayed but is hidden behind the Calmap window.

Technical issues

Calmap has been written in the Java programming language using the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 1.1.5 from Sun Microsystems. Java was chosen for its "write once run anywhere" potential, meaning that it should be deliverable on a range of computer platforms. The finished product can also be delivered across the Web as an Applet.

While Java has many advantages it is still a comparatively young language and is rapidly developing. Consequently some users may experience problems in using the Calmap applet. Most problems can be overcome by updating to a more recent browser. Updates for both Netscape and Internet Explorer are available free and further possible solutions to problems can be found in the download section of this page.

The applet has been tested on both Netscape Communicator 4.04 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 on a PC running Microsoft Windows 95. It has also worked successfully on a Linux system using the latest version of Netscape (and should also consequently work under the same conditions on a Unix system). Calmap will work on a MAC using the latest version of Microsoft Explorer although some problems have been experienced using the program on Netscape Communicator.

While most problems can be overcome by updating to the latest browser, with the addition of a patch in some cases, the program may still not operate e.g. on Windows 95 machines, it is possible that the classpath statement has been set in the autoexec.bat file located in the root of the hard drive (Windows 95 still takes note of the contents of autoexec.bat).



Latest Netscape Communicator

Patch for Netscape Communicator - Some versions of Netscape require the installation of a patch to enable it to run the release of Java in which Calmap is written. This site includes more information, a download of the patch for different platforms and instructions on installation.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Latest Microsoft Internet Explorer

MAC Users

MAC and Java - this site covers Java for MACs.

Information correct as of Tuesday, May 05, 1998 03:47 PM

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Last updated: Thur Aug 13 1998