ArcheoFOSS 2022
Geographical web storage mapping proposal

Sandra Leonardi
Dipartimento di Lettere e culture moderne, Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy

Panel: Maps to the past. Open digital approaches to the investigation of historical maps

Among the activities of curation, cataloging and enhancement for the organization of geographical knowledge implemented by the geography section of the Department of Letters and Modern Cultures of Sapienza, University of Rome, from 2012, there is the realization of a web-base geodata portal, created for the digital storage and open consultation of maps. It is a dynamic archive, realized with open source software, based on historical and geographical paths, designed in relation to the different narratives inspired by research and studying of the geodocumental and cartographic heritage, preserved in the Geography section of the Library of the Department.

The architecture of the entire system was developed at the Geocartographic Laboratory and the initial idea was to build a simple data archive, then expanded by a more ambitious one: build an online system for the dynamic management of a database of images and text contents (data on location, geographical area, toponym, image description, real coordinates, etc.). Among the reasons that have led to structure the portal in this way, there is the will to create a manageable database (even by non-experts), a replicable and easily prototype in order to create a system that could meet not only the needs of storage, but also spatial research based on geolocation. In fact, navigation, and therefore the search of the material is possible not only through the consultation of the traditional menu or through the search of place names and keywords but also directly consulting the digital world map.

The project deviates from the theoretical approach of cultural geography as an end in itself, focus on new ways to spread a geography based on new digital interfaces through the activation of networks of connection that have archives in common with important geo-historical documents, such as the networking of geographical places (museums and libraries) that preserve similar assets.

The texts is released under CC BY-ND 4.0 International license. Copyright: Sara Leonardi 2022.