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Paulicéia 2.0: a spatiotemporal platform for digital humanities

Grant number: 16/04846-0
Support type:Research Grants - eScience and Data Science Program - Regular Program Grants
Duration: February 01, 2017 - January 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Luis Antonio Coelho Ferla
Grantee:Luis Antonio Coelho Ferla
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos, SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Daniela Leal Musa ; Fernando Atique ; Gilberto Ribeiro de Queiroz ; Janes Jorge ; Karine Reis Ferreira Gomes ; Nandamudi Lankalapalli Vijaykumar
Associated scholarship(s):17/03852-9 - Design and creation of spatiotemporal databases, BP.MS
17/04965-1 - Property identification number history in São Paulo City and a corresponding database (1870-1940), BP.IC
17/05020-0 - Property identification number history in São Paulo City and a corresponding database (1870-1940), BP.IC
17/05117-4 - Use of geographical information systems in historical investigations, BP.IC
17/05369-3 - Webservice for geocoding addresses in spatiotemporal databases, BP.IC


The digital humanities are becoming a growing and unavoidable reality for those working with historical knowledge. They have gained intellectual and institutional footing among scholars across disciplines, who have proceeded from arguing for their potential to discussing their practice and implications. Such discussions include the question of defining an epistemological identity for the field, along with the theoretical and practical implications for scholarship and within the institutional structures that evaluate a scholar's work.This project aims to design and build a computational platform for collaborative historical research. The principal goal is to develop state-of-the-art software tools, such as a web portal and Geographical Information System (GIS) plugins, that allow humanities researchers to create, organize, store, integrate, process and publish urban history data sets. The proposed platform will integrate all these tools. Historical urban data sets represent the evolution of urban spatial locations over time and are, therefore, spatiotemporal data sets. The development of this platform faces many challenges in Geoinformatics: (a) how to model, store, geocode, handle and visualize spatiotemporal data sets; (b) how to integrate historical urban information with spatiotemporal data sets from other domains, such as public health or transportation services, that are available on the web by different providers; (c) how to define and link semantic information to urban history data sets; and (d) how to promote collaborative work among researchers, facilitating smooth information sharing and access to knowledge.To test and validate the proposed platform, we will perform a use case using digital historical cartographic data sets of the city of São Paulo covering the period of its urban and industrial modernization (1870-1940). We will organize these data sets in a spatiotemporal database. The platform will provide access to this database and allow interaction among researchers, who will be able to contribute to the database events that can be spatially and temporally represented. In doing so, scholars will be able to produce maps and visualizations of their own research and at the same time contribute to the data within the system. This project will enrich understanding of the history of São Paulo during the above-mentioned period in addition to offering an innovative model of research for the digital humanities that fosters collaborative work and free knowledge flow. (AU)

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