Monday, July 21, 2008

Mapping Eleia

After many years of piecemeal instructions on GIS and piecemeal collection of data for the Greek province of Eleia, I have finally managed to produce some ArcGIS maps. The Greek Ministry of Culture is opening a new museum at Pyrgos. Pari Kalamara (Directorate of Museums, Exhibitions and Educational Programmes) has invited the Morea Project to design a digital exhibition on the settlements of Eleia. We met formally for the first time last summer. The data is proceeding this summer, when Fred Cooper (who is teaching the ASCSA summer session) met again with the team. Towards this end, I've been scrambling to master GIS and produce some maps in the lingua franca of cartography (hence the last two postings on toponysms and GIS). The other collaborators are Todd Brenningmeyer and Sarah Franck, who are now in Greece working with Fred towards the next meeting with the Greek team on July 29th. On the U.S. sides, my mentor has been Nick Stapp, researcher at the Corinth Computer Project, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. I thank him for all the tutorials.

Using an archaeological method, I am working backwards, mapping the settlements of Eleia stratigraphically from the present to the past. So, I've started with locating 340 villages listed on the 2001 census of Greece. Now, I am able to also map population data from that census. The lightest gray represents 0-500 inhabitants, the darkest gray represents 7,400-24,000 inhabitants. Here it is. A population map for the province. I'm not sure if this has ever been done before. In future postings, I will indeed move back into the past and illustrate maps from the late medieval, early medieval, and early Christian periods. The earliest demographic data for the Peloponnese is very well published by Vasiles Panagiotopoulos,
Plethysmos kai oikismoi tes Peloponnesou 13os-18os aionas (Athens, 1985)

I'm also eager to map out the territories affected by the devastating fires of last summer. Although it was huge on international news last year, it has been forgotten in the press. I hope to produce an ArcGIS shapefile that shows the coverage of the burning, based on NASA's satellite images (published on BBC). Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Aurora* said...

It is really an interesting job!! Congratulations!!

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States