Abstract
This essay presents Mapping Dante, a project for the study of the geography of the Divine Comedy through a digital map visualizing all the place-names mentioned in the text. First, the project background is sketched out by a concise overview of the history of the reception and visualization of Dante’s geography, of the constellation of digital Dante projects, and of GIS literary mapping. Second, specific stages and issues of Mapping Dante are discussed: the making of the dataset and its categories, the heterogeneity of medieval geography, the structure of the map with layers and pop-up cards. Conceived as a repository of Dante’s encyclopedic use of geography in the Commedia, the map is also an experiment in connecting text and cartography through the possibilities offered by GIS technology. By exploring different visualizations of a set layers based on textual, cultural and rhetorical categories, users can search for patterns in the distribution of Dante’s geographical references, and can retrieve information relevant to each passage in which a place is mentioned.
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DOI 10.7264/n3mg7mxk
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