Collaborative Mapping Project for the City of São Paulo, 1870-1940
“Pauliceia 2.0” brings four different institutions, across two continents, together in transforming the relationship between the past and present and between producers and consumers of digital history. Pauliceia 2.0’s computational platform allows scholars and the broader public to collaborate in creating, organizing, storing, integrating, processing, and publishing urban history data sets. Using the city of São Paulo during its period of urban and industrial modernization (1870-1940) as a base, Pauliceia 2.0 provides access to a common database and allows interaction among researchers, who contribute spatially- and temporally-represented events. The platform allows researchers to produce maps and visualizations while at the same time contributing to the data within the system. This open source project enriches understanding of the history of São Paulo and offers an innovative model of research for the humanities that fosters collaborative work and the free flow of knowledge.
Pauliceia 2.0 began in 2016 when faculty and students from Emory University and the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) won a joint seed grant from the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the Halle Institute for Global Research. That project included both technical work like vectorization and intense debates about the nature of digital scholarship. The funds allowed teams from UNIFESP and Emory to conduct research and hold symposia in both São Paulo and Atlanta. The success of the first phase led to major funding from FAPESP through its eScience program for projects that link computer science to another discipline and include an international partner. As a result, the Brazilian National Space Agency and the Archives of the State of São Paulo joined with UNIFESP and Emory University in Pauliceia 2.0.
By collaborating with the São Paulo State Public Archives, Pauliceia 2.0 reaches outside of the university setting and everything produced on the platform is freely available for use and reproduction. Since the designers have documented everything with abundant metadata and interpretive notes, researchers interested in other places and types of urban history will be able to adapt the basic model to conduct their analyses. In other words, the methodology and developed cyberinfrastructure will serve scholars far beyond specialists in the history of São Paulo.
A recent publication on the project, entitled, “A Platform for Collaborative Historical Research based on Volunteered Geographical Information” is available here.