Digitizing Patterns of Power – Cartographic Communication for Digital Humanities
The representation of space in medieval texts, the appropriation of land and the subsequent installation of new structures of power are central research topics of the project “Digitizing Patterns of Power” (DPP). The project focuses on three regional case studies: the Eastern Alps and the Morava-Thaya region, the historical region of Macedonia, and historical Southern Armenia. DPP is a multidisciplinary project, conducted by the Austrian Academy of Sciences the Institute for Medieval Research (IMAFO) in cooperation with the University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research. It is part of an initiative to promote digital humanities research in Austria. DPP brings together expertise from historical and archaeological research as well as cartography and geocommunication to explore medieval geographies. 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. Optimal cartographic visualization of base data as well as the historical and archaeological information in an interactive map-based online platform are important features. However, the multidisciplinary of the project presents the participants with various challenges. The different involved disciplines, among them cartography, archaeology and history each have their own approaches to relevant aspects of geography and geocommunication. This paper treats geocommunication characteristics and approaches to interactive mapping in a historical and archaeological context within a multidisciplinary project environment. The fundamental challenges of cartographic communication within DPP will be presented. Furthermore, recent results on the communication of historical topographic, as well as uncertain thematic content will be demonstrated.