JSON Data for the Traceable Art

As part of my effort to facilitate the development of a successor to the current, somewhat jury-rigged system used to publish the Traceable Heraldic Art collection, I’ve been working on exporting the current data in a format that could be imported by someone developing a successor system.

You can now retrieve nearly all of the textual content of the collection via a series of JSON data files which are automatically rebuilt each time the site is updated.

The entries.json file (5.4 MB) contains one object for each illustration — charge, fur, field division, etc — including the name, description, attribution, and links to the associated SVG and PDF files.

The artists.json (16 KB) and sources.json (83 KB) files provide metadata associated with attributions, while the headings.json (1990 KB) and volumes.json (3 KB) files record the category structure used to group related entries together.

More work is required, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

Traceable Art at Summer’s End

During the last three months, over 225 new entries have been added to the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art, bringing the total to 4,800 images plus appendices.

Some of these illustrations were provided by first-time contributors Drystan ap Ercwlff, Elizabeth Riverwood, Groza Novgorodskaia, Kolosvari Arpadne Julia, Ragna stórráða Úlfsdóttir, and Sadhbh Bheag — thank you all, and welcome to the team.

Likewise, my continuing appreciation goes out to returning artists Saewynn aet Cnolle, Jessimond of Emerickeskepe, Iago ab Adam, Vémundr Syvursson, Forveleth Dunde, Owen Tegg, Thora Brandsdottir, Aine ingen Gilla Crist, and Estelle de la Mer.

We continue to explore additional period sources; new documents in this update are BnF MS Allemand 304, English Arms A, The Chronicle of the Council of Constance, and the Powell Roll, joining art from familiar works like the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft, Stemmario Trivulziano, Sammelband Mehrerer Wappenbücher, and the Nobiliario de Armas de Valencia, Aragón y Cataluña.

Recent additions are listed below, with labels for new entries or multiple related illustrations.

  • Fields: Vair
  • Divisions: Per Bend Embattled, Barry and Per Pale (new), Lozengy Bendwise (2, new), Paly and Per Fess (new)
  • Ordinaries: Bars Embattled Counter-Embattled (new), Bend Compony, Bend Cotised Dancetty (new), Bend Fusilly, Bendlets Gemel, Chevronels, Chevronels Braced, Chevronels Engrailed (2, new), Chief Dovetailed (new), Chief Indented, Chief and Flaunches (new), Cross Counter-compony (2), Cross Couped, Cross Engrailed (new), Cross Fimbriated (new), Cross Gyronny (new), Fess Fimbriated (new), Pale Embattled, Pale Embowed (new), Pile Indented, Piles, Tierce Indented (new)
  • Shapes & Symbols: Annulet Compony (new), Cross Bottony Fitchy, Canterbury Cross (new), Cross Formy, Wooden Latin Cross Couped, Heart (2), Icosahedron (new), Mullet Voided and Interlaced, Mullet of 6 Points, Mullet of 8 Points, Mullet of 20 Points (new), Saltire Flory (new), Saltire Moline (new)
  • The World & Heavens: Comet, Crescent (5), Gurges, Mount of Five Hillocks Couped, Mountain, Block of Stone (new), Sun In His Splendor
  • Plants: Acorn, Almond, Apple, Apple Sprig (new), Cattail (2, new), Cinquefoil, Citron Slipped (new), Demi-Fleur de Lys, Linden Leaf (2), Linden Tree Eradicated, Lotus Flower In Profile, Olive, Rose, Rose Sprigs Issuant from a Grassy Base, Ragged Staff (3), Tree
  • Invertebrates: Bee, Scorpion
  • Fishes: Fish, Fish Skeleton (new), Sea-Tortoise
  • Reptiles: Dragon’s Head Couped Breathing Fire (new), Serpent Erect, Serpent Glissant, Serpents In Annulo Fretted (new)
  • Birds: Dove Migrant to Base (new), Eagle (2), Eagle’s Leg Erased, Egg, Panache of Peacock Feathers, Peacock, Peacock In His Pride, Wing
  • Beasts: Bear Couchant, Bear Rampant (2), Bear Statant, Boar Passant, Bull’s Massacre, Domestic Cat Rampant, Domestic Cat Sejant (2), Domestic Cat Sejant Regardant (2, new), Domestic Cat Rampant Winged, Dog Statant, Elephant Rampant, Elephant’s Head Cabossed (new), Goat’s Head Couped, Hedgehog Regardant (new), Horse Statant (new), Ibex’s Horn, Leopard Statant (new), Leopard Statant Regardant (new), Lion, Lion Passant Reguardant (new), Lion Sejant Guardant (new), Lion’s Jambe Erased, Ounce Sejant (new), Sow Passant (new), Sow Statant (new), Stag’s Attire (3), Unicorn Sejant (new)
  • People: Ass with a Woman’s Head Rampant (new), Hand with Middle Finger Extended (new), Leg Couped, Demi-Man Vested (new), Nude Man (new), Man’s Head Couped at the Shoulders Wearing a Hat (2), Toungue Erased (new), Woman, Woman Issuant from Base, Nude Woman (new), Wound
  • Food: Cauldron, Chalice, Cup, Covered Cup (3), Fleshpot, Drinking Horns Fretted (new), Domed Oven, Sausage (new), Spoons Hanging from a Rail (new), Weinleiter (2)
  • Clothes: Bag or Pouch, Belt (3), Buckle (5), Eyeglasses, Hat, Hempbreak (2, new), Drop Spindle, Torse
  • Tools: Auger (new), Ladder, Closing Nail, Punner (2), Staple
  • Buildings: Boardwalk (2, new), Castle (3), Column, Park Pales, Tower (5), Windmill
  • Arts and Sciences: Lute (2), Artist’s Paintbrush, Quadrant (new), Rackett (new), Pair of Stilts (new), Trumpet, Whirligig (5, new), Winnowing Fan
  • Farming and Hunting: Hunting Horn, Millrind, Scythe
  • Ships & Fishing: Anchor, Gondola (new), Grappling Iron (3), Rowboat
  • Military: Bird-Blunt (2), Spanning Iron (new), Spearhead, Sword (4)
  • Assorted Objects: Key (3), Lantern, Pennon, Rolling Baby Walker (new), Wheel, Wheels Conjoined by an Axle (2)
  • Achievement Elements: Grassy Compartment

Seeking A Technical Collaborator or Successor for the Traceable Heraldic Art

As we approach the fifth anniversary of my Traceable Heraldic Art project, and given how terribly overcommitted I am with numerous projects underway, I wanted to let folks know that if someone with a strong software-development background was interested in developing the next generation of the system that hosts that collection, I’d be open to collaboration and eventually turning it over to someone else to run.

This recent blog post lays out some of the background on how the current system works and what I hope might some day replace it, and links to the source code and data files I use to build and update the site. A successor system might be coded very differently, but I would hope that it would still support the current functionality and enable the development of new capabilities, so it seems likely to be of similar complexity.

This doesn’t mean I am about to abandon the project, but I have spent somewhere about four thousand hours on it already, and would like to free up some time to work on other things. If you’re a combination web-development nerd and armorial-art nerd, and you’re interested in spending years of your life improving and maintaining a much-valued community resource, drop me a line!

An Idiosyncratic System for Publishing the Traceable Heraldic Art

[Note: The below is a lightly-edited revision of an email message I sent to a contributor to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection who asked about the technology used to update the web site. It’s somewhat rambling and may not be of interest to most, but I figured it was worth putting it in the public record. — Mathghamhain]

In hindsight it would have been sensible to tackle the creation of the online Traceable Heraldic Art collection as a web database project, but for historical reasons that’s not at all how it’s architected. Continue reading “An Idiosyncratic System for Publishing the Traceable Heraldic Art”

Traceable Additions for May

Another two hundred and forty illustrations have been added to the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art during the last six weeks.

I’m not much of artist, relying on others to share their illustrations, so I’m very pleased to welcome Alessandra Sartor as a new contributor, and give thanks to the continuing efforts of Iago ab Adam, Jessimond of Emerickeskepe, Saewynn aet Cnolle, Forveleth Dunde, Elionora inghean Ui Cheallaigh, Malys mac Néill, Zubeydah al-Badawiyyah, and Estelle de la Mer.

Continue reading “Traceable Additions for May”

April Additions to the Traceable Art

Over the last six weeks, another 230 new illustrations have been added to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection.

This steady pace is made possible by the contributors who send in art to share with the community, and so I would like to welcome the newest illustrators to join the project, Forveleth Dunde and Séamus Uí Chonchobhair.

For their ongoing efforts, my thanks also go to returning artists Saewynn aet Cnolle, Owen Tegg, Jessimond of Emerickeskepe, Iago ab Adam, Gunnvôr silfrahárr, Elionora inghean Ui Cheallaigh, and Vémundr Syvursson. Continue reading “April Additions to the Traceable Art”

New Clip Art Files Posted Without Gray Fills

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in response to my questions about black-and-white and transparent images for the Traceable clip art library.

I’ve kept the original grayscale files, as some people find them useful, but I’ve now also added a bunch of new file formats, include “outline” files which have only black and transparent pixels, and “B&W” files which have only black, white, and transparent pixels. I hope that these help with the “light gray fill” issue as well as the jagged edges I’ve noticed showing up in raster art due to anti-aliasing and flood fill tolerance settings. Continue reading “New Clip Art Files Posted Without Gray Fills”

Traceable Art for February

It’s been a busy couple of months, with well over two hundred items added to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection since December, bringing the total to more than four thousand items grouped into more than a thousand headings.

A big driver of the recent activity has been the College’s Virtual Heralds Point, which for the first time used online tools to coordination heraldic consultations, art assignments, form preparation, and electronic payment. In addition to processing submissions for hundreds of people, this event also facilitated connections between heralds and artists from all across the known world who might not have ever met in person. Continue reading “Traceable Art for February”

A Technique For Internal Detailing On Sable Clip-Art Charges

A recurring challenge when illustrating armory that contains complex sable charges is how to handle the internal detailing that is often provided by fine black lines within a charge of any other color, but which disappears when the charge itself is black.

For example, consider the clip art pomegranate shown below. If we color it entirely black, as shown in image 2, the internal detailing disappears and it’s difficult to identify — is this a roundel wearing a crown? One viable approach is to use a dark gray color for the fill, as in image 3, which allows us to still see some details, but sometimes that’s not enough contrast, and there are contexts in which using shades of gray like this isn’t a viable approach. Continue reading “A Technique For Internal Detailing On Sable Clip-Art Charges”