Populating an exhibit in Neatline - alternatives to Ruby?

I'm working on a prototype for a larger project and I'm trying to determine what my options are before moving forward. I've been reading the geocoding tutorials, both part I and II. These are great, but they left me wondering if there are alternatives to using Ruby for several of the steps.

I'm planning to use Google Fusion Tables for my geocoding. Does anyone know of a service that can convert from latlong to WKT without involving Ruby?

Is there another way besides Ruby and the Mechanize gem to bring records into Omeka and populate an exhibit? I understand that you cannot use the CSV import plugin for this purpose. Are there alternatives?

In a nutshell: Is Ruby the simplest way to go? We are looking for the simplest way to get our coordinates into Neatline.

Many thanks!

Hi Brianna,

You can use a variety of programming languages to convert to the proper format. I'm not sure, but there's probably a way to write a formula in FusionTables to format the lon/lat coordinates in proper WKT. Is there a particular language you're comfortable with?

In my very biased opinion, Ruby is the easiest way to go (since you can follow along with a step-by-step guide), but it is by no means the only way. There are any number of technologies you can use to programmatically fill out a form, but those libraries typically are language-specific.


Thanks for letting me know, Wayne! I'm brand new to Ruby so in the interest of time, and since I'm just creating a very basic prototype, I would like to do as many things manually as possible. Does anyone know if there's a non-programming way to get WKT from latlong coordinates? It doesn't seem like most available geocoding programs provide WKT but perhaps I'm missing one.

You should be able to work with WKT with a tool like QGIS or ArcMap. In QGIS, if you save the layer with your points as a CSV and in the Layer options, add something like this:


Do you have more complex geometries, or are they just points? If you're just working with a point, you should be able to export the data from the fusion table to something like Excel and just write a quick formula to put the strings together correctly and save as an CSV.

Thanks for your continued help!

The timeline for this project has expanded and I will now be trying out Ruby for both geocoding and batch ingest into Neatline. My institution has version 1.8.7 currently installed. My sysadmin has asked if there is a specific reason I need to use Ruby 1.9, which was identified in the geocoding part I post (http://www.scholarslab.org/digital-humanities/geocoding-for-neatline-part-i/).

Is it possible to do geocoding and batch ingest into Neatline using your tutorial while running Ruby 1.8.7?

Hi Brianna,

Can you install software on your local computer? That tutorial was really intended to be run from your local machine, not from a server that requires a sysadmin to intervene. The RailsInstaller makes this really simple for Windows and OS X.

However, it that's not a possibility, you should be able to run all of the code in 1.8.7, with one small change. Basically the only difference between what I have there and what would need to be in 1.8.7 is the inclusion of the FasterCSV gem (it replaced the CSV library in 1.9.3). Install the gem (gem install fastercsv) and any place where you see require 'csv', replace it with require 'fastercsv'. Everything else should be the same.

Let me know if you run in to trouble...