Bantu MapMaker version 3.1
John B. Lowe, University of California, Berkeley
Thilo C. Schadeberg, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
BMM is a Hypercard stack which allows you to "color" or "mark" maps. As provided, BMM comes with maps of Africa and an inventory of about 500 Bantu languages names with their locations. By pointing and clicking, you can tell the program to color in various (linguistic) regions of Bantu-speaking Africa according to your needs. You can also control the coloring of the map using external files. So, for example, if you wanted to make a map in which languages having a particular attributes were colored according to a certain color scheme, you could provide the program with a text file listing the languages and their attributes, and the map would be generated. The resulting Maps may be copied to the Clipboard and pasted into documents as bitmap images.
BMM is a "stand-alone" Apple Macintosh application developed with HyperCard version 2.2.
You do not need the HyperCard programme to run BMM. To see the full
window of BMM you need a somewhat larger screen than is standard for
most types of Macintosh. However, BMM works on any type of Macintosh
that we have tried. (we have only worked with system 7.1 and higher).
BMM is provided with two basic maps: a language map and a geographical map. The
language map is based on the original "Tervuren Map" (1967). Multiple alterations (hopefully improvements) have been made to this map. We would like to
acknowledge the help of the "Linguistic Service" of the Royal Museum for
Central Africa at Tervuren, Belgium, for permission to use their map as well as
for help and advice.
- Download a "self-expanding archive" (.sea.Hqx file) containing BMM v3.1 and documentation. (995 K)
- View the online manual.. This is the only online documentation for the program available at this time. Note that the online manual is a version of the BMM version 3.0 manual. We expect to revise both manuals, which are a bit terse, in the near future.
HISTORY OF BANTU MAPMAKER
BMM v3.1 is the latest in a series of Hypercard stacks developed for making linguistic maps, particularly those of the bantu area. Version 1.0, created by Prof. Thilo C. Schadeberg, was released in April 1995. BMM1 provided the "basic" mapmaking functions needed to easily make linguistic maps of the Bantu area which would be suitable for publications and presentations, including:
Dr. John B. Lowe, building on these basic functions, incorporated code that he developed at CBOLD in support of linguistic cartography. He revised the stack substantially during the next several months, and created a new version, 1.1 beta, which provided a number of new features:
- Two "base" maps containing linguistic and geotopographic divisions.
- The ability to "color" (i.e. set a black-and-white pattern) for different regions on a map.
- The ability to place different symbols on a map.
Prof. Schadeberg continued the development process and, based in part on version 1.1 beta, released in May 1996 a much improved version 3.0, with additional features including:
- the "base map" and the overlay map (containing the points and areas defined by the user) were separated, making it possible to combine different overlays using the same base map.
- a facililty to save the points and areas defining a map was developed, making it possible to add and subtract elements from a map, and to save the descriptions of maps as text files.
- a procedure for loading map descriptions from text files was created, making it possible to drive the map-drawing process from databases and other external programs. (These text files are lists of languages with
associated values for variables, e.g., all the reflexes of *ki-)
- a (simple) facility for creating legends based on the symbology actually used on the maps was created.
- the "coordinate set" provided with the program was expanded to include coordinates for over 500 Bantu languages.
Version 3.1, incorporating a number of minor improvements by Prof. Schadeberg was released in January 1997. It differs from version 3.0 in the following points:
- Making the two maps congruent and using the same inventory of language
- revising and correcting coordinates for almost all Bantu languages. The list of coordinates is at this point nearly definitive.
- BMM is now a stand-alone application (a feature made possible by using HyperCard 2.2), requiring no extra software to run.
- a variety of other enhancements and improvements (see the online manual.
BMM is specifically geared for Bantu languages, but the programme could
easily be adapted for other language groups. It "only" needs a different map
(or pair of maps), and a new inventory of languages with coordinates. If you
are interested in adapting BMM for a different language map, let us
know and we can work something out.
- A bug in the DB import procedure has been repaired.
- The Legend uses a smaller typeface.
- The legends of the sample maps have been redone.
- The title page now shows two authors and the new version number.
- The text of the Info window of the title page has been rewritten.
- The same text has also been put into the first section of the Manual.
- The Info window of the Finder now shows the version number and the date of compilation.
Comments and suggestions are welcome. We will try to repair bugs as quickly
Please use and distribute BMM freely for research purposes; if you use
BMM in preparing a publication, please cite it as follows ("nnn" below stands for the version of the program you used):
John B. Lowe and Thilo C. Schadeberg. 1996. Bantu MapMaker [version nnn] (computer program). Berkeley and Leiden.
(and the authors would appreciate an offprint). Any commercial use of this
program requires a written license.
John B. Lowe. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thilo C. Schadeberg. schaberg@RULCRI.LeidenUniv.NL
Bantu MapMaker 3 is a tool for displaying the geographical distribution
of primarily linguistic features of Bantu languages. It provides two basic
The two maps are congruent. They have been adapted for this purpose from the
map known as "Tervuren 1967", using information from older and from more modern
sources. The maps are as accurate as has been possible, given the limitations
of knowledge and technology. The resolution of the maps is the same as that of
the Macintosh screen (72 dots per inch), and no higher resolution can be
achieved in printing.
BMM has an internal database (called "Main Inventory") with over 500
names of Bantu languages, dialects and language groups; about 450 of these have
associated coordinates referring to mapped areas or to points. (Language names
and coordinates may be changed and new languages may be added by the user.)
The user may copy one of the two basic maps and mark languages. There are two
types of markings: Patterns and Symbols. Patterns are only appropriate for the
basic map "Languages", and only for languages which have a designated area.
Symbols can be used on either basic map, and for languages with and without and
area. All marks added to a map are stored in a map-specific subinventory. The
subinventory can be edited and manipulated. It is also possible to merge the
subinventories of two maps and thus create composite maps.
BMM allows the user to import a database which contains the information
to be represented. BMM also has a (simple) facility to create
Maps and legends can be copied to the clipboard from where they can be imported
into programmes such as Microsoft Word. Maps and legends can also be
exported to (graphic) files or printed directly.
This short manual deals with the following subjects:
- Move around in MapMaker -- the GO menu
- Do things with maps -- the upper MAP menu
- Mark languages -- the EDIT menu
- The map-specific subinventory -- the lower MAP menu
- The main inventory -- the INVENTORY menu
- Use a database -- the DATABASE menu
- The legend -- the LEGEND menu
- Save, Export, Print and Quit -- the FILE menu
- About the distribution disk