DigHimapper - Crowdsourcing the Arenberg map collection.
For a long time historical maps have been cherished as objects of great value and beauty, illustrating the evolving representation of the world, cities and (rural) landscapes. Recently, they tend to be seen as more than mere illustrations. Up until now, however, preparing historical maps and building spatial databases of directly deductible information to allow the use of these maps as primary sources for fundamental research, was a very labor-intensive process. This is caused mainly by the necessity of two time-consuming preparatory steps that have to be undertaken to (pre-)process historical maps: 1) the georectification (overlay of historical maps with present-day situation) and 2) the spatial annotation of toponyms (transcription and localisation of place names). Grasping the full opportunities of the recently started close FED-tWIN-co-operation between the History Department of the University of Antwerp and the Belgian State Archives, this project aims to offer an alternative to solve the bottle-neck in the processing and use of digital historical maps: the development of a web-application for crowdsourcing both the georectification and spatial annotation of historical maps. Teaming up with ICT-partner Webmapper, ca. 3 000 high-resolution scanned historical maps from the Arenberg collection, digitized by and held at the Belgian State Archives, will be opened to the 'crowd' in order to establish a spatial database of up to (or over) 100 000 toponyms. Once completed, this database serves a threefold research objective: 1) fundamental research on landscape history based on 'big data of the past', in this case large datasets of toponyms; 2) using local toponyms as a way to include other sources for spatial research and 3) an exploration of the possibilities and limitations of crowdsourcing when scaling-up the research in the coming years.
The Malta Map Society (MMS) has produced a facsimile of four portolan atlases of the eighteenth-century Maltese captain, Antonio Borg, which are found at the British Library, Mss 13957-13960. This facsimile, consisting of four bound volumes in leather, will be deposited at the National Library of Malta for the benefit of all Maltese scholars. An official ceremony will be held on 30 November 2022 at 18.00 h in the presence of the Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, the Hon. Dr Owen Bonnici.
On the invitation of the Malta Map Society, Mr Hans D. Kok, a Dutch expert in historical cartography, a collector, a writer and co-author of a number of standard works on the vellum charts of the Dutch East India Company will be giving a talk to MMS members and friends, entitled Is it a sea chart?. He will be shedding light on what qualifies a map as a sea chart.
Following this talk, there will be the presentation of the bound volumes to the National Library. For the occasion, the Malta Map Society has put up an exhibition of some of the more important documents found in the portolan atlases.
A message from Anthony Mullan, Chair, Ristow Prize Award
Washington Map Society.
October 23, 2022
As many of you know, the Washington Map Society since 1994 has sponsored the
Ristow Prize contest for the best essay in the history of cartography. Because of very few submissions received this year (2022), we cancelled the contest. But the contest will take place next year (2023). You can help me by responding to this email just indicating that you received it. I plan to send out in the next two weeks an announcement giving the particulars of who is eligible to apply, the length of the essay, deadlines, etc. If you have responded to this email,
you will receive the announcement. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that the GR routes were devised by the Belgian Maurice Cosyn? Founder of the Sentiers ardennais, he was the precursor of the famous Sentiers de grande randonnée and published numerous guidebooks devoted to the tourist attractions of the Ardennes. This year, these guides have entered the public domain. They are now freely accessible via the website of the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR).
When Cosyn was head of the Touring Club of Belgium, he was the instigator of several hiking trails that still exist today. Among them, the first Grande Randonnée (long-distance) paths, better known under the name GR, recognisable by their famous red and white markers. The GR trails invite you to discover lesser-known places that you would probably never have crossed otherwise. So don't hesitate to consult these guides before your next excursion in the Ardennes.
Read more. Or have a look at the interactive map.
Indonesia’s struggle for independence, which reached its climax in the 1940s, has long been regarded as a conflict between the colonial power, the Netherlands, and the colonized Dutch East Indies. But in fact it is part of world history. David Van Reybrouck’s Revolusi is the first book to go beyond the national perspective and demonstrate the conflict’s global significance.
Indonesia was the first country to declare independence after the Second World War. As soon as the Japanese occupation ended, young rebels engaged in armed resistance against any new form of domination. British, Australian and above all Dutch troops were sent to restore order and keep the peace, but instead their presence ignited the first modern war of decolonization. That struggle inspired independence movements in Asia, Africa and the Arab world, especially when Indonesia organized the legendary Bandung Conference in 1955, the first global conference without the West. The whole world had become involved with the Revolusi, and the whole world was changed by it.
In his familiar stirring and engaged style, and based on countless conversations with witnesses from different countries, David Van Reybrouck once again – after the phenomenal Congo. A History – presents a penetrating reconstruction of a struggle for independence.
Author: David Van Reybrouck, Revolusi, 2020, De Bezige Bij, 656 pp.
Source: Flanders Literature
The Portolan is the journal of the Washington Map Society; it furthers the purpose of the Society “to support and promote map collecting, cartography and the study of cartographic history.” The Portolan, the largest and most-widely distributed publication of its kind in the Americas, is issued three times per year, in the Spring/Summer, the Fall and Winter.
The Mare Nostrum Orchestra, conducted by Andrea De Carlo, performed at Caprarola Castle on 31 August 2022.
The programme included Moro per Amore, the eighth and last opera by Alessandro Stradella.
Many of our Members will remember our Excursion to the Academia Belgica in Rome in May 2016 and in particular our visit to Caprarola Castle.
Especially the Sala del Mappamondo, showing the whole of the known world as it was in 1574 when the frescoes were completed.
In June 2021, ISHMap awarded the first Prize in Map History.
The projects for the winner and honorable mentions for the inaugural ISHMap Prize in Map History demonstrate exciting and innovative approaches to expanding the audiences for the history of maps and mapping through community engagement and interdisciplinary research. From traditional exhibitions with dynamic online content to physically bringing map history to local people in the countryside, these projects illustrate how vibrant and interdisciplinary map history can be.
You will find here descriptions of the Winner, Honorable Mentions and other notable submissions.
We remind you that Jan Trachet has been nominated for the 2021 ISHMap Prize in Map History with his Pourbus Troubadour project.