Elton Barker, Open University, UK
The past decade has seen a growing spatialisation of literary studies, closely connected with the development of new geographical technologies, such as GIS, and their application to the humanities. For example, Antiquity Á la Carte allows users to investigate the historical, cultural and geographical data produced by the Ancient World Mapping Center. Yet there is a problem with GIS applications, when applied to research into ancient geography. On the one hand, they present a pre-determined vision of the world, based on Cartesian principles and contemporary modes of thinking, into which users “plug in” data from antiquity. On the other, GIS, as a point-based geometrical package, is particularly poorly equipped to deal with the predominant primary source that preserve ancient conceptualisations of space—texts. In two presentations at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Elton will outline the ongoing efforts of two Digital Classics projects to use mapping visualisations as the means of interrogating and disrupting our understanding of ancient world space: the Hestia project, which investigates the ways in which geographic space is organised and represented in Herodotus’s Histories; and Pelagios, which uses and develops the principles of Linked Open Data to facilitate the construction of (potentially) bottomless maps.
More about the public talks: infovis.fh-potsdam.de