A downloadable bot

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A bit off the wall for ProcJam, but I made a Twitter bot.

@erat_viator is a bot that explores the Roman Empire using historical data to simulate the journey. It posts reports of its progress to Twitter in real-time, letting you follow along at home.

There are a number of open-access databases of historical and archeological data for the Classical period. The one that most directly inspired this project was ORBIS, the Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World.

The bot uses the ORBIS API to plan a route to a city somewhere in the Roman Empire, and then simulates walking there, posting periodic reports to twitter about the progress that it is making. Along the way, it checks the linked open data available from the Pelagios and Pleiades online APIs, letting it talk about the places it encounters and the historical artifacts it finds along the way. For example, the coins it mentions were originally found near the place the bot is standing when it talks about them.

The bot uses the ORBIS data to match its movements to approximately how long it would have taken to travel that distance during the actual Roman Empire. It also tags its tweets with the latitude and longitude of the simulated location where it is currently visiting. The bot operates from approximately sunrise to sunset (in Rome, of course), so it's first journey from Rome to Iader will take about a month in real-time.

The hacked-together source code is available in the zip file, though if you just want to follow the bot it is availible at https://twitter.com/erat_viator

More information

Published347 days ago
Tagsprocjam, roman, twitter-bot
LicenseMIT License
Average durationDays or more


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

ViaAppiaRelease.zip 12 kB


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I love the idea of the bot making a journey. Nicely done. I included it in my ProcJam compilation video series, if you'd like to check it out :)

I also included it in an article of my favorites :) http://fireside.gamejolt.com/post/jam-favorites-procedural-generation-jam-cuupbhwv