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Getting started

The dialect data used in this tutorial comes from the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS). We use a subset from this atlas comprising 67 counties in the state of Pennsylvania. The dialect data (Pennsylvania.u16) and the map file (Pennsylvania.kml) can be downloaded here. Save both files to your local hard disk (right-click on the file name and choose Save Target As...).

Check the data files

If you want to, you can inspect the files you just downloaded. The data file is a-tab separated text file which can be opened in a text editor, or, in Microsoft Excel by using the Data Import wizard. The data have the format of a table. The sites where the data was collected are listed in the first column and the linguistic variables are in the first row. The cells in the table contain transcriptions of the dialectal pronunciations of the variables at each site.

The map file can be opened and edited using Google Earth. Google Earth is a free software which has to be downloaded and installed on your computer before you can use it.

Upload the data in Gabmap

Open Gabmap here. First you have to create an account by choosing a username and password. A message will be sent to you by email when you have created your account. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm the account. If you do not use an account for more than two months it will be deleted automatically.

Once you have logged in, you can create a new project of the Pennsylvania data by following the following steps:

  1. Give the project a describing name (for example, Pennsylvania) at Description.
  2. Upload the map file (Pennsylvania.kml) .
  3. Upload the data file (Pennsylvania.u16).
  4. Choose string data at Type of data, since the data file comprises phonetic transcriptions. As type of processing we choose string edit distance - tokenized.
  5. Click Create project.

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