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Vladimir N. Vladimirov
(Faculty of History, Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia)

Creating a Repository of Computerized Maps:
Digitizing an Atlas of Tsarist Russia.

A repository of computerized maps of the Tsarist Russia is being created at Altai State University. The main idea of the project is the creation of a comparatively new type of historical data: computer-produced historical maps of the territories of the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century and their diffusion into the scientific community. The importance of computer-supported cartography has been growing very rapidly as historians have turned to personal computers and various computer techniques. At present large quantities of historical cartographic data have been created in West Europe, North America, Australia; similar projects dealing with the history of particular regions and countries are being pursued. Working out theoretical, methodical, and applied problems dealing with generating computerized historical maps and putting them into scientific circulation considerably broadens the set of instruments available to a historian-researcher.

There is a sufficient number of printed archival sources which can be used as the basis for computer mapping of Russian history. Since the second half of the 19th century there has been published various cartografic material including physical, economic, and political data. Our project aims at bringing to light, collecting, and analysing existing historical maps and basic sources for to machine-readable production.

We use the capabilities of the Atlas*GIS-system. The administrative borders of the Tsarist Empire in beginning of the 20th century were digitized. Different historical maps are created on this basis. These maps are linked to questions of demography and migration of population, economic and social history, politics, and culture.



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