Markus Breier - Representing Spatial Uncertainties of Historical Places and Spaces in Interactive Maps
The representation of historical landscapes depends on information gained from historical sources. Especially spatial information gained from these sources is often very uncertain. To appropriately represent historical landscapes, these uncertainties have to be represented as well. However, representation of uncertainty is a complex issue, especially if the uncertainty cannot be quantified. The issue is complicated furthermore when using representations of uncertainty in an interactive mapping environment.
This paper deals with the spatial uncertainty of historical information from the perspective of cartography and cartographic representation. Different aspects and types of spatial uncertainties can be distinguished in historical data. Furthermore, some spatial entities were uncertain or fuzzy even in the Middle Ages. Each type of uncertainty has its own challenges, when it should be depicted on a map. To make maps and map elements, a set of graphic variables is available. Every graphic representation uses these variables. This article elaborates on the suitability of the variables to represent spatial uncertainty. Furthermore, different representation strategies have to be employed depending on whether the result should be a static or an interactive map. As the main cartographic output of DPP is the interactive map-based online application, the focus of this article will be placed on the interactive representation.
William Cartwright- Theatre of the World
In 1570 Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) published the first edition of his Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theatre of the World). It comprised 53 maps, which were arranged systematically and presented in a uniform size. It is generally considered to be the first ‘modern atlas’.
When thinking about this presentation, I was continually drawn to the title of the Ortelius atlas and focussing on the concept that an assembly of well-chosen and definitive maps could provide a ‘Theatre of the World’ to those undertaking current-day research. The process of understanding geographically-located data, whereby researchers are presented with massive amounts of definitive data from a rigorous data collection campaign, is greatly assisted when that data is analysed using contemporary Geographical Information Systems and the outcomes of that analysis is portrayed effectively using maps. What results through the use of mapping systems, for data collection, analysis and the presentation of the outcomes of that analysis, is a greater and enhanced understanding of the fundamentals of space and time. The concept of Theatre of the World, championed by Ortelius in the sixteenth century is just as relevant in today’s cartography, albeit a cartography that now uses contemporary mapping, presentation and communication tools.
This presentation addresses the use of maps and mapping systems to store, analyse and present geographical information. It begins by reflecting on the mapping tools and presentation methodologies that have been used for undertaking analyses of geo-located information. In these examples, it will be noted that location is paramount to determine what to collect and how to collect that data. Geography is the framework for assembling that data and maps the presentational ‘glue’, where information is depicted in a manner that best supports interpretation and cognition. The presentation then proposes how contemporary mapping systems might be incorporated into research undertakings in the humanities to support and complement the work being undertaken by subject experts. Finally, the potential for applying developing technologies and systems from the cartographic and GIScience domain to the digital humanities are explored.
Olivier Delouis- The Byzantine Region of Bithynia: from Archeological Archives to Geographic Information
In the last decades, two French research programs have focused on the Byzantine region of Bithynia (Turkey), which extends from the Southern shore of the Marmara Sea to Mount Olympus (Uludağ), and from the lake of Apollonias to the Sangarios river. From 1987 up to 2009, surveys were organized first by Prof. Jacques Lefort and then by Prof. Marie-France Auzépy (with the collaboration of Olivier Delouis and others). As a consequence, a large amount of archival material has been compiled and is now preserved in the Collège de France in Paris. Olivier Delouis and Julien Curie then set up a collaboration with the Digitising Patterns of Power project in Vienna in order to gather online historical sources, ancient maps, reports and archaeological publications, accounts of travelers as well as the results of our field surveys. This project, conceived as an innovative effort of both archiving and providing scientific data to the public, has made it possible to develop new interpretations and a deeper understanding of settlement and land use patterns in the Byzantine region of Bithynia.
Stefan Eichert - "Frontier – Contact Zone – No Man’s Land" – a Digital Repository for the Archaeology of the Morava – Dyje Borderregion in the Early Middle Ages
From the 6th century onwards, the Austrian “Weinviertel” region between the rivers Danube, Morava and Dyje sees the arrival of Avar and Slavonic groups, the emergence of the Moravian principality as well as its fall in connection with Hungarian raids in the 10th century until it becomes a border region between the Přemyslid Moravia, the Hungarian Kingdom of the Arpad Dynasty and the Babenberg March in the 11th century. From an archaeological point of view there are many transformation processes that happen there during 5 centuries. To trace such transformations all available archaeological sources have been collected and stored in the DPP OpenAtlas database. The paper will present the data, their structure and some examples for analyses and visualisations.
Pierre Fütterer - Routes of Power. Itinerant Kingship, its Infrastructure and the Approbation of Space in 10th Century Medieval Germany
In medieval Germany, power was bound to the presence of the ruler. This required constant itinerancy and presupposes the existence of a functioning transport infrastructure consisting of stage stops in form of Pfalzen, royal estates, monasteries as well as traffic routes. They had to meet the requirements of the itinerant kingship with regard to the accessibility of the places of temporary residences as well as the increased level of feeding and supplying or the increased communications during a ruler’s stop.
In view of the above the paper takes another look at the widely debated Königsstraßen and at the same time focuses on the associated halting points, in particular their distribution and placement using the example of the core region of Eastern Saxony. The reconstruction of the road system of Ottonian times, the determination of king’s roads based on it, the recording of the testified and potential stage stations as well as the spatial analysis of these data with GIS tools brought about a previously hardly recognized dimension of spatial coverage by the rulers.
The research revealed that the stage stations were distributed with considerable regularity. Compared to the older research a clearly higher number of royal roads could be identified and areas of increased ruling presence could be derived from them. At the same time, the reconstructed course of the royal roads reflects the well-known structure of the medieval realm in the 10th century.
Martin Kuna - Archaeological Information System of the Czech Republic
Efforts to create a digital information system for the needs of Czech archaeology began 30 years ago, at the very end of the communist era (of course, they could fully develop only after its end). The main aim of these efforts (carried out mostly in the Institute of Archaeology of the CAS in Prague, after 2000 in the partner Institute in Brno, too) was to capture the evidence of the archaeological heritage of Bohemia (Moravia/Silesia) and to fix the available data (especially the spatial information) before it is irretrievably lost. From the very beginning, however, these activities were also pursued to another objective – to use the systematically collected data for research on the settlement and landscape development of Czechia in the long-term perspective of prehistory and the Middle Ages.
Today, the Archaeological Information System of the CR (AIS CR) is a complex research infrastructure covering the administrative agenda of archaeological fieldwork activities, data on their results, records of sites identifiable in the landscape, a central repository of digital documents and several websites presenting data to both the professional and wider public. In 2015 the agenda of both Institutes of Archaeology has been unified under the same system. Moreover, the AIS CR has been enlisted in the “Roadmap of Large Infrastructures for Research, Experimental Development and Innovation of the Czech Republic for the years 2016–2022” which is providing some hope for its long-term sustainability.
In 2017, new horizons were opened for the AIS CR infrastructure due to the support obtained from an EU-funded operational programme. The new project (AIS-2) focuses not only on the technical and data development of the infrastructure, but also on its scientific use by both the project team members and other professionals. At present, the following themes are dealt with:
  • function and development of prehistoric supra-community areas (e.g. hillforts) as well as medieval elite residences (fortified manors, castles);
  • landscape analysis in terms of perceived and used geographic environment (e.g. function and meaning of the landscape relief features, modelling of “settlement areas”, etc.);
  • using of “big data” to understand the dynamics of the archaeological record formation as resulting from depositional and post-depositional processes, as well as history of archaeological research itself.
Karel Kriz - Mapping the Past, Present and Future – Geo-Communicating Historical Places and Spaces
Historical events and processes do not solely occur in time, but also in space. To depict, analyse and communicate this specific spatial dimension of events and processes, geocommuncation and cartography provide tools and methods to represent historical landscapes. Traditional mapping techniques such as static map depiction are primarily devoted to capturing single moments in time. In recent years, telecommunication developments facilitate the possibility to represent spatio-temporal content in dynamic and interactive ways. Services like Google Maps made interactive online maps ubiquitous tools. Their widespread knowledge has led to great familiarity with interactive maps and geocommuncation. However, these services lack basic cartographic principles, which limits their suitability to communicate historical topics in high-quality fashion.
This presentation provides insight into the current and future developments of cartographic communication in a historical context and shows the potential of Geocommunication and cartography to depict relevant facts and represent historical places and spaces in an effective and attractive visual form.
David Novák - Emblems of Power, Administrative Centres or Luxurious Residences? A Digital Archaeological Analysis of Medieval and Post-Medieval Elite Manorial Seats
Elite seats, or manors, which were temporarily and spatially continuous phenomena characterised by certain formal attributes, represented a wide network of purposes and functions that helped shape medieval and post-medieval realities. This paper introduces an approach based on a formalised description of various sites followed by an analysis of the functional relationships and purposes of elite seats. Using digital tools, the main goal is to identify and describe the relation of the respective sites to both landscape and settlement networks, while following the “structural” aspects of the social behaviour. To describe the terrain, several landscape features (e.g. visibility, networks of natural routes, water bodies, landform types) were modelled using GIS, with almost 2000 sites of different categories (castles, fortified manors, curias, chateaus, etc.) delineated based on ALS data and terrain documentation. This paper discusses the theoretical and methodological bases of current European castellology. Taking the example of Bohemia, it jettisons the traditional approach and replaces it with an appropriate methodological framework for an innovated theoretical model to describe the role of elite residences in past societies.
Joseph Patrich and Leah Di Segni - The Onomasticon of Judaea/Palaestina and Arabia and Its Digital Version. Objectives and State of the Research
The Onomasticon of Iudaea / Palaestina and Arabia is a comprehensive collection of literary and documentary sources from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods originally written in Greek and Latin, even if preserved only in other languages, that mention all sorts of toponyms: names of settlements, geographical entities (such as regions, mountains and rivers), administrative units (provinces and districts) and ethnic entities (nations, tribes and clans) within the geographical and chronological limits of the research. It is headed by Dr. Leah Di Segni. So far (as for August 2018), two volumes already appeared in print: Vol. I, containing an annotated list of sources and 70 major texts, and Vol. II.1&2, dedicated to toponyms starting with the letter A. Each entry presents all the sources pertaining to the site treated therein, in the original Greek or Latin, with an English translation and a short introduction, as well as English translations of sources lost in the original Greek and only preserved in Syriac, Arabic and other languages. Each entry ends with a discussion of the identification, history and archaeology of the site and a bibliography of modern research. Each of the two volumes have three indices (Greek, Latin and English, Hebrew and Aramaic) and maps. Vol. I also provides a list of all toponyms to be included in future volumes of the Onomasticon and separate lists of Sacred Places identified by individual names: churches, monasteries, synagogues, temples, funerary monuments etc. Vol. III, dedicated to toponyms beginning with the letter B, was recently submitted to print. The work on Vol. IV, dedicated to Sacred Places, and Vol. V, dedicated to the letter C, is in progress.
A Digital Application was devised in early 2018. Its objectives are to serve as a platform for insertion all data, to enable efficient communication between the PI and her assistants and ease regular inspection on their work. The database is entirely searchable. At present the application is operative only for editorial work. In due course it will present all data to the public via the internet in a user-friendly manner. The various features of the application will be presented in the lecture.
Veronika Polloczek and Bernhard Koschicek - Abstract Transformation of Analogue Data into OpenAtlas Data: the Example of the Family Chronicle of Hans III Herzheimer
Funeral monuments, and especially their located inscriptions are important, although almost unnoticed types of sources, which can be consulted to resolve questions of family history. As they are preserving the deceased’s memories, inscriptions have always been of high priority for the human’s afterlife. Especially humanistic scholars are seeking equally representation and presentation to convey their sight for themselves and posterity and almost every noble family until the 16th century is interested to situate its own family in history by applying ancestral charts and genealogy. Therefore, this paper will have a special focus on the case study within DPP entitled “The Chronicle of the Herzheimer Family” and the composer of this Chronicle, the Bavarian noble man Hans III Herzheimer, who pays homage to his deceased ancestors by composing poems in the shape of literary Neo-Latin epitaphs. Based on these data, an example how analogue data can be transformed into OpenAtlas Data will be given.
Mihailo Popović - The Digital Cluster Project “Digitising Patterns of Power (DPP)” – Uniting History, Archaeology, Geography and Cartography with Tools from Digital Humanities
The project “Digitising Patterns of Power: Peripherical Mountains in the Medieval World” (in the following DPP) is funded within the programme “Digital Humanities: Langzeitprojekte zum kulturellen Erbe” of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for the duration of four years (that is from 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2018). It is hosted at the Institute for Medieval Research (IMAFO) of the same Academy and unites as a digital cluster project various experts from the fields of Medieval History, Byzantine Studies, Historical Geography, Archaeology, Geography, Cartography, Geographical Information Science (GISc) and Software Engineering. In order to achieve the aims of the project the Team Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences is cooperating with an external project partner, namely the Team Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna.
DPP focuses on the depiction and analysis of space and place in medieval written sources, the interaction between built and natural environment, the appropriation of space and the emergence of new political, religious and economic structures of power.
DPP compares six regions of the Medieval World: the Carolingian Eastern Alps (8th-9th Centuries), the March–Thaya Borderregion (7th-11th Centuries), The Herzheimer Family Chronicle (613-1506), the historical region of Macedonia (12th-14th Centuries), the historical Southern Armenia: the “Rise and Fall” of Vaspurakan (5th-11th Centuries) and the Byzantine Region of Bithynia (4th-15th Centuries).
DPP is a cutting edge project within Digital Humanities and uses as well as develops digital tools for data-acquisition, data-management, processing as well as for analysis, visualisation, communication and publication. By following such an approach, it envisages at gaining new insights and innovative research-results which could not be achieved based solely on traditional methods.
This paper will present and summarise the scholarly and technical results achieved by the interdisciplinary and digital project DPP in the last four years.
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller - Digitising the Local, Localising the Global. A Small Armenian Kingdom in the Wide World of the Early Middle Ages
While the Kingdom of Vaspurakan (9th-11th century CE) was a small-scale polity (of max. 40,000 km²) in the “peripherical mountains” of historical southern Armenia, its position at the intersection of competing and often overlapping spheres of influence of the neighbouring great powers (of Rome respectively Byzantium and of Persia respectively the Arab Caliphate) entailed wide-ranging entanglements with developments across the region from the Mediterranean to Central Asia. In this paper, it will be demonstrated how digital tools can help us to survey, visualise and analyse both the establishment of political, economic and religious influence at the regional level as well as the “global” connectivity of Vaspurakan, based on the mobility of people, objects and ideas, but also with regard to the “mental maps” of observers of the time. Thereby, the complexity of the emergence and maintenance of power in the early medieval period across spatial scales will become evident.
Alexannder Pucher - An Interactive Map-Based Application to Represent Historical Landscapes
Geocommuncation and cartography are important tools for the historical research questions. Within DPP, however, the cartographers will not just provide technical know-how. The communication of space, time and spatial interconnectivity is an essential aspect of DPP. By incorporating digital cartographic expertise, relevant facts can be depicted in a more effective visual form. An interactive and dynamic map based online application, using open source technology, provides a visual frontend for various aspects of DPP and functions as an integral part of the output. The application is accessible by web-browser and is therefore available to the general public. The main user group on which the development focuses, however, are expert users in the history domain. The application makes use of state-of-the-art technology and is built around cartographic principles to provide a high-quality visualisation of the historical landscapes of the three case studies. To provide a background for the historical information, a specific base map was created, which suits the needs of the historians and archaeologists. The application is connected to the OpenAtlas database, and its contents can be queried and viewed on the map based interface. Story Maps provide insights into special topics of the research of DPP and serve as a starting point for the general public.
David Schmid - Visualising the Ostrogothic Kingdom – The Use of GIS in Early Medieval Studies
Visualising the Ostrogothic Kingdom argues for the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the Early Medieval Studies to augment the argumentation, visualise complex geographic information, spatial changes over time and to combine geographical, statistical and historical information for the researchers and thus aid the reconstruction of the past. On the example of the Cassiodor's Variae the usefulness of GIS for historical research is shown. The presented tools are the Least-Cost-Path analysis, Geo-referencing, Heatmaps, Buffer zones and the Viewshed analysis. Those tools can be used to reconstruct the late antique/early medieval world by analysing what the people back then may have seen, where they went and in which spaces they thought, lived, worked and travelled.
Alexander Watzinger - OpenAtlas: How to Grow Software for Historians
OpenAtlas is an open source application for the work with archaeological, historical and geospatial data. In the last years it has been developed and adapted for multiple research projects. Since every project has its own requirements the software has been adapted to cope with differing needs. This paper describes the workflow between the development team and the project members from planning to software releases. It gives some insights into the challenges and solutions when "growing" software for historians.
Katharina Winckler - The idea of territory in the Early Middle Ages: a digital approach using the example of the diocese of Freising (Bavaria)
From the middle of the eighth century onwards the region of Early Medieval Bavaria emerges with a sudden (and astonishingly large) amount of written evidence, especially charters. These charters mostly tell us about property donated to the Church. They mostly do not survive in their original form, but in a copy that was made shortly after their creation: the so-called Traditions. Here the monks edited the original documents, making shorter (as in the case of the eponymous Breves Notitiae of Salzburg) or longer (as in the traditions of Freising) copies of the texts.
In the course of the project’s case Study “The Agilolfingian and Carolingian Eastern Alps (8/9th Cent.)” we inserted data from the traditions of Freising into the OpenAtlas database of the project in order to visualize potential patterns of power. The quantity of the data forced us to choose a qualitative approach and thus we focused on churches and their consecration: some churches were explicitly consecrated by the bishop and some were not.
When visualized on the Geo-communication create by the DPP project, this difference was significant. It told us a lot about the territorial ideas of the bishop: an explicitly consecrated church appeared like a territorial marker of the spiritual realm of the bishop. This was extremely useful in the late Agilolfingian and early Carolingian times, as the boundaries of the Bavarian dioceses had yet to be traced.