Stanford University
CESTA
New Maps for the Old Regime
This project uses geospatial and distant reading approaches to gain a more adequate understanding of early modern political geography, to retrace the ways in which goods and people travelled through the physical landscape, and to uncover broad spatial and temporal trends in intellectual history. Past projects included a spatial analysis of traffic flows at the crossroads of two of the most important trade routes in late medieval Europe, and a data-driven critique of the polygon as the main vector data model for representing political entities in historical GIS. Because incomplete data is a fundamental challenge in pre-modern spatial history, we also develop new ways of estimating and visualizing uncertainty in geospatial data. Currently, our main focus is on mapping and interpreting broad shifts and patterns in early modern petitions and legal dissertations, the sheer quantity of which defies conventional scholarship.

Spatial History