Dorothy H. Hoover Library

OCAD University

Online Resources: Mapping Gothic France

April 4th, 2012 · No Comments · General Posts

Vassar’s Andrew Tallon and Columbia’s Stephen Murray have recently unveiled their massive and remarkable digital project to document the architectural monuments of 12-13-century France, entitled “Mapping Gothic France”. This open-source, open access project is available on the web at: www.mappinggothicfrance.org

The site consists of hundreds of dynamic, panoramic images, mapped to each monument, and accompanied by contextual materials including historical texts, time-lines, interactive maps, and biographies of scholars. It also contains tools for comparative study.

You can explore this site in the following three dimensions:

  • Space: “Buildings displayed in their geo-political space – Great Gothic structures apportioned on an interactive map”
  • Time: “Buildings arranged by approximate construction dates – historical maps dealing with changing medieval and political boundaries”
  • Narrative: “Buildings represented in words—follow a narrative for each building, explore the thoughts of the principal scholars, or survey the recurring stories of how Gothic became Gothic”

From the site: “Whereas pictures can be satisfactorily represented in two dimensions on a computer screen, space — especially Gothic space — demands a different approach, one which embraces not only the architectonic volume but also time and narrative. Mapping Gothic France builds upon a theoretical framework derived from the work of Henri Lefèbvre (The Production of Space) that seeks to establish linkages between the architectural space of individual buildings, geo-political space, and the social space resulting from the interaction (collaboration and conflict) between multiple agents — builders and users.”

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