Digital Mapping Reveals Social Networks of 18th-Century Travelers

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  1. sobore
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    http://paloalto.patch.com/articles/...l-networks-of-18th-century-travelers-a63feafa

    We live in a world of networks, of nonstop messaging and degrees of separation. So did intellectuals of the early modern age, according to new research at Stanford.

    During the 18th century, thousands of letters, often on academic subjects like mathematics, were exchanged between scholars across Europe. Wealthy aristocrats and their tutors penned many of those letters when they were on the famed "Grand Tour" of ancient sites in Europe.

    A pioneering digital visualization project has allowed Giovanna Ceserani, an associate professor of classics, to map the routes of thousands of British and Irish elite travelers who went to Italy in the heyday of the Grand Tour.

    Ceserani's digital humanities project, the Grand Tour Travelers, has uncovered unexpectedly close connections between intellectuals, illuminated the rise and fall of cities, and occasionally offered warnings about how visualization can sometimes prove misleading.

    Analysis of digital interpretations of the records of over 6,000 travelers from the British Isles illustrate just how small the elite world of tourists in this period was, as well as how, "irrespective of profession and social status, travel abroad seems to have lowered social boundaries and enabled otherwise unlikely connections," Ceserani said.

    Read More: http://paloalto.patch.com/articles/...l-networks-of-18th-century-travelers-a63feafa
     
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