The Stanford geospatial network model of the Roman world



Conventional maps fail to reflect the cost of transferring goods and information across space and managing heterogeneous territories with pre-modern technology. More realistic maps would seek to account for differences in travel speed and cost that are characteristic of specific media, such as land, rivers, and sea, and to take account of meteorological variability. This project aims to compute and visualize real communication and transfer costs by converting physical distance into travel time and monetary cost. The goal is to create a complex digital network model of the Roman world using ESRI ArcGIS and Gephi that can be accessed through an interactive web site. This project is supported by a Digital Humanities Specialist Project grant (awarded for the fall of 2011 and winter of 2012; with Elijah Meeks and others) and ties in with work done at Stanfordís Spatial History Lab. The URL of the project website will be published in May 2012.