Mapping history

The overall aim of the Grand Tour Dalmatia project was to research records of space in pictures and words, to analyse the position of Dalmatia between the western and eastern itineraries of the Grand Tour, to provide a more nuanced cultural portrayal of Dalmatia of that period, and to create greater insight into the influence of the region on the development of European Neoclassicism and Romanticism.

So for the past three years, we have been exploring the possibilities of computation and visualization for studying travelogues to Dalmatia, which were never before collected. Although our first intention was the collection of literal and visual records of Dalmatia as a destination of European Grand Tour in the eighteenth and the nineteenth century, very soon we realized that a computational approach can provide an opportunity to develop research methodologies, particularly in terms of contextualization and comparison of data. The result is establishment of the chrono-geographical database of the history of the Grand Tourism in Dalmatia in the eighteenth and the nineteenth century.

Creation and development of the database is an interdisciplinary effort which encompasses three processes: research, design and programming. The aim is to transform the collected data into a more useful set of information, so that it could represent more than just a collection. The chrono-geographical database is thus a research tool which enables a new methodological approach.

The database is based on the ‘author – place – travelogue’ relation. It comprises books, images, photographs, essays and letters created as a result of the direct experience of a place (Dalmatia), from the perspective of the author (traveler).

The selection of the spatial and temporal criteria enables a number of possibilities for the classification and comparison of travelogues, which offer new research adventures.

By expanding its spatial and temporal frame, it can continue to grow.


Chronogeographical database concept: Damir Gamulin, Ana Šverko

Database design: Damir Gamulin

Database development: Bruno Babić

Data collection: Irena Kraševac, Iva Raič Stojanović, Jure Roić, Ana Šverko, Ivana Vlaić