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Products for grant HAA-269013-20

The Sandcastle Workflow: A Malleable System for Visualizing Pre-modern Maps and Views
Edward Triplett, Duke University

Grant details: (Web Resource)
Author: Edward Triplett
Abstract: This website is the home for project descriptions, student blog posts, tutorials, toolkits and other database-related outputs. This website is published but still under development. As we complete the toolkit development, we will also publish additional assets created during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:

Mapping History: Seeing Premodern Cartography through GIS and Game Engines (2020-2021) (Course or Curricular Material)
Title: Mapping History: Seeing Premodern Cartography through GIS and Game Engines (2020-2021)
Author: Edward Triplett
Author: Philip Stern
Abstract: What if we could climb into historical views of cities and experience the worlds they represent? How could we design digital methods and tools that reconstruct historical images like these in 3D even if they don’t correspond to modern ideas about mathematical perspective or gridded Cartesian space? For several decades, scholars of historical cartography have heeded the call to “deconstruct the map”— to treat maps not as representations of the world as it was but as texts, which employ symbols, rhetoric and silences to make arguments about the world as the mapmaker wants it to be seen. Meanwhile, historians, literary scholars and others have applied computational analytics and machine learning to raise new questions about texts through techniques like text mining, XML encoding and data analytics. Bringing these two insights together, how might we “read” maps computationally without altering them to fit the constraints of machine readability? This course, laid the foundations for students to begin to answer these questions, with a critical focus on the maps, views, and plans of medieval and early modern London and Lisbon. It offered an introduction to materials in the history and theory of cartography, medieval and early modern urbanization, and research methods in history, art history, architectural history and others, as well as critical approaches to digital mapping, procedures of map annotation and markup, Python-based techniques for importing markup data and procedural modeling (Houdini), incorporation of those data into an interactive 3D environment (Unreal), and preliminary analysis of these findings. Students helped troubleshoot and develop the project workflow as well by using this process to research, markup, and analyze their own map drawn from medieval or early modern European and European colonial history.
Year: 2020
Audience: Undergraduate

The Book of Fortresses (Web Resource)
Title: The Book of Fortresses
Author: Edward Triplett
Abstract: This site aggregates a lot of the work that has been done on the Book of Fortresses digital project, especially the 3D GIS layers. It is in a near constant state of development as more fortresses are modeled or scanned and as the images of the book are annotated and structured in the database. The site is intended (primarily) to act as a portal into the digital work that is discussed in much greater detail in forthcoming written publications.
Year: 2017
Primary URL: