Geocommunication

Patterns of power exist in space and time. To visualise and explore spaces, places and spatial relations, methods of geocommunication and geographical information science will be used in this project. Geographical Information Science (GISc), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and their tools of spatial analysis – e.g. spatial statistics, network analyses, least cost calculations and view shed analyses – are digital methods to gain insight into historical geographies. These digital methods are applied to the research questions of the historians and archaeologists of the project, resulting in an interdisciplinary “Digital Humanities” approach.

To communicate the results of the spatial analyses as well as the historical and archaeological data and the spatial relations thereof, DPP aims to create an interactive and dynamic map-based online application. It will be an integral part of the DPP project and provide a framework for various aspects of the project. Querying the database and overlaying various thematic layers will allow the user to explore the data and retrieve spatial relations, yet undiscovered. Furthermore, Open Source technology, modular design, generalised workflow and compliance of data standards will guarantee sustainability, as the application modules can easily be adapted to other geographical and historical areas.
To provide an ideal cartographic background for the historical and archaeological data, background maps will be designed with the specific needs for this project in mind. These maps will be based on freely available data, which will be edited and refined by the project team.

The research questions addressed by this part of the project include the representation of inhomogeneous spatial and temporal uncertainties of underlying historical data. Specific entities as well as events can be located and dated precisely, whereas others can only be sited and assigned vaguely. These uncertainties have to be considered, if entities are to be displayed on a map. When showing the results of database queries, the quality of the uncertainty will be represented in the map itself.

Furthermore, the project aims to provide an optimal cartographic visualisation of the base data as well as the historical and archaeological information. This data is stored in the OpenAtlas environment and will be overlaid according to database queries. Cartographic design principles serve as guidelines for high quality visualisation.