Georeferning Analysis

This is my rectified map. It is a hand-drawn Italian map made in the 18th century.

In the rectifying process, I was surprised by the various format that spatial DH projects can be presented in. In the projects that we explored earlier, some projects contain information about various locations within a certain area. For example, the Ancient Roman map can show labels in bridges, mines, all different kinds of infrastructures back in that era. This helps viewers to better understand the living environment of Ancient Roman citizens. Other DH projects, such as the “geovisualization” project about Battle of Gettysburg, gives the viewer perspectives of people in that time, and help them better understand how the decisions were made in that battle. In this rectifying process, I experienced another aspect of spatial DH project, which is the making process of the project. I was surprised by the fast role changes that everyone can have from the spatial DH project, and this role shifts would bring more perspectives to every spatial DH projects that are being made or viewed.

The map I reified in can be accessed in a book published by the publisher Edme Mentelle and Malte Brun in 1804. It is two pages on the book, with a size of 65 × 46 cm.

There are a lot of possibilities that I see once we have a georecitified map. For example, since the map is hand drawn, we can compare the drawn map with real world map to find out how precise the map is. Meanwhile, since there might be some geological chances happening within three hundred years, this map is also pretty useful in terms of examining the possible geological changes. This map is the map of Italy. Therefore, we would also gain more information about the cities and regions division back then, and compare with the cities right now to see how the division changes, and why it changes.

Some problems with georeferencing that I should consider is that some old maps doesn’t contain accurate information in terms of the scale of some edges, because a lot of them are hand made and it is hard to depict the details accurately since ancient people didn’t have the technology to look down from the sky to see the outline. Therefore, if one point is off the scale too much, it will also affect the compare and overlay outcome, since it is impossible to plot a lot of points between maps. Second, there might be geological changes happened within these several hundred years, so comparing it with the current map might not reflect the actual landscape back then.

This method will not be appropriate for research questions such as if there’s any geological changes after several hundred years on rivers and seashores. As mentioned above, the handmade maps are not accurate for these studies, it is better to refer to the readings that have precise description on the distances from one place to another.

Nina Sun

One Comment

  1. This is a pretty cool georectified map! Did you find it difficult to read the labels that are written in a foreign language? Or did the familiarity of the geography make it pretty easy to overcome the language barrier?

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