Friday, 15:30 – 17:00
This session discusses the challenges in building platforms for medieval geodata, such as geographic information systems (GIS), for the presentation of data on maps and in other graphic forms. Panelists examine, theoretically and otherwise, the approaches and results of presenting geoinformation for medieval studies. Papers explore how GIS and other digital projects can produce new findings and investigate potential shortcomings. Analysis includes theorizations of geoinformatics, space more generally, and geographical and imaginary spaces. Questions panelists address include: What are medieval data? How qualitatively rich can digital information be, and what kinds of texts can or should be mapped? How is the visual presentation of data different from a written account? Are there useful ways to map non-specific or non-geographic spaces, and are there compelling reasons to do so?
Geodatabase Design: The Tomar Map
— Karen Pinto & Kathleen Baker (Boise State & Western Michigan University)
Karen Pinto has (excellent?) book on Medieval Islamic maps (Chicago Press booth)
Tomar-i Hümayun — huge thing, made for Sulman the Magnificent — mid-16th C
- south on top
- pre-American discovery
- blue is sea, white is landmass
increasing demand for geospatial data, high-quality cartographic geodatabases
- "the land of my wife's brother" — Poland. Sulaman gave up his Harem to marry ___ — from Poland!
but do we really want to spend our lives doing this? instead maybe:
- does it exist or not?
- proportions of land/water
- azimuth angle of various features (Nile)
- metrics of similarity and distortion among historical maps and in relation to modern maps
- first-order polynomial approach
- keeps the map flat, minimizes distortion on the map
- third-order polynomial approach
- gives priority to modern map: "rubber-sheeting"
- projective transformation
- shine a light through — kind of a combination of the previous two. straight lines aren't, but they're kind of close
- georeferencing Tomar Map using 14 updated locations
- but we have to be careful of places no longer being in the same place: Sudan is in a way different place now compred to 16th C: "place continuity"
- considerations when selecting location
- historical relevance
- place continuity
- dispersion across map
The Oxford Outremer Map and the Challenge of Translating Space
— Tobias Hrynick
Oxford Corpus Christi College MS 2* (of Matthew Paris)
- black and green ink is actually bleed-through
- relatively accurate
- North orientation!
- deceptively modern
click on the sites to get annotations, which make it meaningful to undergraduates and highschoolers.
used free tool "mecha neatline"
"georectification does a great deal of violence to" such maps
similarity between such mapping processes and translation
- makes things more available for others' work
Paris had been using n/s more or less absolutely, but e/w was really distance from the Mediterranean shore r^2 value is .7 (if you ignore Cairo), instead of .09 relative to true e/w!
- he'd done this kind of thing with Roman roads in another map. It's kind of like a modern subway map
[in Q&A: n/s is easy; e/w is hard]
- this was good old-fashioned scholarship which he could've done with a ruler, graph-paper, etc. But by using the computing tools, it was much faster and he could test his hypotheses even when expecting negative results!
Virtual Pilgrims, Virtual Maps: Using GIS to Understand Late Medieval "Representational Space"
Dr. Kathryne Beebe, UT Arlington email@example.com
I. Lefebvre's "representational space"
La production de l'espace (1974) (translated in 199x…)
1. Spatial practice (like our bus shuttles)
2. Representatives of Space
3. Representational Space
- picture yourself now walking through your high school space
- real pilgrims in Jerusalem also seeing the heavenly Jerusalem, not just the heat and crowds and smells
- it overlays the physical space
II. case study: Mapping Observance
- networks of observant reformed religious houses (Schwabia, lowlands,…) 1360-1550
- a "hand-crafted method"
- maybe a time-series database at some point: see the movement over space and over time
III. Virtual Pilgrimage: the "representational space" of the Sionpilger
1493 is the earliest copy; the other two we have were finished by 1495
offerred complete guide to Jerusalem and back, with a full description
- start in Fabre's house in Ulm, pilgrimed, then back to Ulm and dispersed back to their home houses
IV. The Digital Observance Network
- this has been a microstudy. How can we scale this up
- international interdisciplinary collaboration network
- VORsight: Visualizing Observant Reform in the Middle Ages
- interactive db of Observant houses, 1330-1550
- (GIS) mapping-visualization tool
- digital manuscirpt library
Spatializing Information and Informatizing Space
Angela Bennett, professor of English, U of Nevada/Reno
- Geo-informatics: geo- not just "having to do with earth," but also geography and cartography
- information: in-forming (as in wax): of everything throughout time and space
- nothing objective or unbiased or abstract about any of this, either the geo- or the -informatics
- quotes Sausseure: it's all flattened aribtrarily into an abstraction
- example of the pedocomparator (which I’ve seen before)
- tradeoff between precision & accuracy on the one hand and abstraction on the other
"On Exactitude in Science" — Jorge Luis Borges (cartographer insists on more and more accuracy, until the map = the kingdom; short story)
- maps of Piers Ploughman sources
- different sizes of places
- NOT points of origins of scribes, but areas of where scribes may have originally come from
- map is faithful to what we know, but
slide showing connections between Piers Ploughman sources. Space is not meaningful, but it allows us to visualize things that were not readily visible to us.
- nuns, lay-people actually walking in the cloisters, &c., on "pilgrimages"
- "counter-mapping" to show what we in humanities are doing
- node-goat (Belgium): social network mapping
- Ark and Quantum: the same, but one is expensive, the other is free and buggy
- we're in the incanabula period now
- we need to link to open data
- we need to think forward, so that when tools become available, we already have good data for it
- starting with water. Mathew Peres influenced by Islamic maps? Or maybe the 19th C native woman in Newfoundland independently generated a map like this: maybe you have to start with the water. (I did!)
ALL MAPS LIE: this is said in every Geography 101 class.
- Irish literature: "2 days sail up the coast" (if the currents are right); "2 days travel westward"; we need to think of these things as liquid: taking current and terrain into account