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Using the CENTENNIA Atlas

The Centennia Historical Atlas has three primary windows: the main map, the text narration, and the options/preferences control panel.


The map window displays an evolving map of Europe and the Middle East. Zoom in on one country or zoom out to view a larger region. Enter a specific date, or use the time controls to watch the changes in the map over the centuries.

The text narration window describes events as they occur in the map window and provides background on the international political situation.

The options control panel includes an index of hundreds of people, places, and events. It also includes functions for printing and saving the map at several different resolutions. The map view region and color scheme can be selected. And various other optional features can be activated.


The Maps


The maps in this edition of the Centennia Historical Atlas display the history of Europe and the Middle East from 1000AD to the present. The maps are based on effective power and control, that is "power on the ground," rather than internationally-sanctioned or treaty-driven relationships. Clicking on a country or region at any date pops up an identification tag giving the name of the country and the controlling power.

Double borders in Centennia indicate supra-national entities or confederations of states. The medieval and early modern "Holy Roman Empire" is outlined in a double border since it had evolved into a loose confederation of states, and was an empire in name only. In the 19th century, the Napoleonic "Confederation of the Rhine" and the later "German Confederation" similarly are mapped with double borders. In the 20th century, the Soviet system of states bound most of the nations of Eastern Europe into a tight confederal relationship with the USSR, and this grouping, too, is indicated with a double border. From the enactment of the treaty defining the European Union in 1993, that grouping of nations is also displayed with a double border.


Map Date and Map Evolution


Enter a date in the date field to go to a specific target date. Hitting the keyboard enter key confirms the date and jumps to it. Immediately to the right of the date field are two arrows. The upper, hollow arrow jumps to the entered target date skipping over intermediate events; the lower, filled arrow runs to the target date displaying intermediate events at fast speed.

To the left of the date field, the + and - controls increment and decrement the date by one-tenth of a year. Note that the displayed date shows the current year and tenth of year. For example, 1789.5 refers to the five week period centered on June 30, 1789. The + and - keyboard keys perform the same functions.

Below the date field, the "opposed arrows" control swaps back and forth between a pair of entered dates. Enter the first target date. Then jump to it. Click the swap date control. Enter a second target date, and jump to that date. Clicking swap will now jump back and forth between the two dates allowing comparisons of changes between the two dates.


The time controls evolve the map forward or backward in time at variable speed. Click the speed band between the stop button and the forward or reverse play buttons to change the speed of map evolution. At the slowest speed, one year of map time passes in 30 seconds. At the fastest speed, one century of map time passes in 5 seconds (this speed is hardware-limited and will not be realized on slower computers). While the map is evolving, striking the enter key or the spacebar on the keyboard will stop the display and pause the map.


Changing the Map View Region

CTRL+click:
Hold down the keyboard control key and click on the map to zoom in. Or hold down shift and control to zoom out. The map re-centers on the clicked location.

ALT+drag:
Hold down the keyboard alt key and drag to pan the map across the map window.


Click left or right of the current zoom setting in the zoom control to increase or decrease the map view region. Click the up, down, left, right arrow controls to pan the map across the map window. The diagonal directions also work.

If the options control panel is open, the view region can be selected by dragging on the small scale map. Also, a region or country can be selected from the menu below the map.


Options and Preferences Control Panel


Maps can be printed, saved, or copied to the clipboard at the apparent resolution on screen "As Displayed" or at "Finer" resolution which is drawn at twice the scale of the display or at the "Finest" resolution which is drawn at four times the display scale. Maps are saved in PNG format which can be read and displayed by most modern software.


Select a new view region by dragging out a box on the small-scale map. The menu below the map includes a list of major regions and modern countries. The main map window immediately updates to the selected region.


Select a color scheme from the menu below the map. The default is full-color. The two greyscale color schemes allow selection of colors for individual countries. Double-click on each country to turn the highlighted color on or off. The "EU Focus" color scheme highlights the countries of the European Union and the earlier European Community. This color scheme will not function in editions of this software which do not cover the EU/EC period.


Centennia includes an index of historically significant people, places, and events. Click on any item for a brief description. Hit the "Location" button to re-draw the map centered on the corresponding location or region. Hit "Location and Date" to re-draw and also jump to the corresponding date.


Select "Country Names" or "City Names" to turn on or off the display of country names or city names on the map. The "headlines" which display below the map during map evolution can be turned on or off, also. Finally the map window can be set to "Full Screen" mode. To exit Full Screen, click anywhere along the edge of the map window.


All maps and text in the Centennia Historical Atlas are protected by international copyright law and may not be reproduced or publicly displayed or transmitted electronically.

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