Those of you who are regular readers will know that I’ve been working on Roman transportation networks since last July. It is my pleasure to announce the results of that work: the release of ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. Created by Walter Scheidel, myself and Karl Grossner, ORBIS provides a model of the transportation network that linked Rome–presented in a number of ways. While this is a particularly useful resource in the Classics, the Mapping ORBIS section gives you a kind of Google Maps Directions for Imperial Rome, which is rather fun and novel for a very broad audience.
I consider ORBIS to be an example of a new kind of digital scholarly publication, that integrates narrative and data-driven representations of claims. If you happen to be around Stanford today, I’ll be giving a talk on the details of the project today at 2PM in Wallenberg Hall.
In the coming weeks, I’ll begin to explain and present the code behind the various pieces of the transportation network model that runs ORBIS, as well as frame where this work sits in respect to other digital scholarly publications. Thanks so much to everyone who has provided feedback on the preliminary site, and for all the support and encouragement that you’ve given us.