As Petrarch, Freud, and others have observed, to stroll down a Roman street or to pause in a piazza is to be ensconced in history. But, like hiking through a canyon with no geological awareness, traversing the city’s sites and strata can be a disorienting—if still pleasant—experience. How best to make sense of Rome’s artistic and architectural history? Our team takes a spatiotemporal approach to this challenge. Simply put, we believe it is fundamental to know what was where when. MappingRome is a collaborative research project of historians, art historians, geographers and digital designers centered around Dartmouth College, the University of Oregon and Stanford University. We aim to create a website and mobile application, which will serve as an encyclopedic platform comprised of multi-layered historic maps replete with dynamic features keyed to a timeline, vetted annotations, patrons, artists, relevant bibliography, historic and photographic images and other data. This proposal to connect maps and data that exist on separate servers will yield more than just the sum of its parts—rather, it will revolutionize the study of Rome across space and time and offer a viable model for spatiotemporal studies in the humanities.
Project Principal Investigator: Nicola Camerlenghi, Art History