With the support of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Visualizing Venice project explores ways in which digital technologies can be used to answer art historical research questions. This summer, a team of four scholars from Duke University and IUAV undertook a pilot project on San Zanipolo (in Venice), using digital technology to examine and present the island’s urban history. This initial project produced a searchable, geo-referenced database of published textual and iconographic sources (images and maps) and a set of uniform, AutoCAD and GIS maps, visualizing key stages in the island’s urban development. A second phase of the project will digitally model the architecture of the primary structures and spaces at each of these stages. In both maps and models, the buildings are coded to match the records in the database, linking the digital reconstructions to the primary documents and images which substantiate them. Ultimately, the database, maps and models will be published on a website, presenting the urban history of San Zanipolo in a manner accessible to both the scholarly community (with transcriptions of primary documents) and the general public (with texts outlining the urban history of the site). Through Visualizing Venice, we aim to present digital technologies not only as a means of representing research but as a research tool in itself, important at all stages of the research process.
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