31 Jan 2012

Discussions in Denmark and Sweden

Posted by AndrewJ

On Tuesday 24th of January Andrew flew to Copenhagen. The purpose was to visit the Department of Scandinavian Research at Copenhagen University and the Dialekt- och ortnamnarkivet in Lund, in Sweden.

The Arkivet has a very impressive collection of maps and a huge collection of the place-names of Skane. While there, Berit showed Andrew the place-name slips, maps, library and the digitising equipment. The slips are sorted alphabetically, by parish, by hundred. The system of digitisation seemed very efficient, c. 3 slips can be digitised per minute. Karl-Erik Lundbladh suggested that if a similar digitising programme was carried out on the Scottish place-name database, as there are c.500,000 slips, it would take about 30 months to digitise.

On Thursday morning Andrew visited Peder’s office at the Department of Scandinavian Research, Copenhagen University . He was shown the progress that had been made with DigDag and the collections of place-names and maps. At 10am they both had a meeting with Henrik Hochreuter and Finn Kensing of CITI (Center for IT Innovation). Andrew gave a PP demonstration of where the project is now. There was some very helpful discussion afterwards. It was suggested that when the larger project, Mapping the Viking World, is being developed, it ought to be modularised. Andrew hatched the idea of lots of ‘tiles’, which can be put together to build a mosaic of the Viking World. One, or more, of these tiles could be developed by CITI. This could be a geographical area, or an IT development. CITI would be happy to help with developing a research proposal.

On the Friday, Andrew gave a seminar about the project at the Department. It was well attended by both staff and students from Denmark and Sweden. There appeared to be great enthusiasm for the project. It was clear that the idea of a spacially enabled, multi-relational database and maps caught the imagination. The KMZ file which animates the Viking raids on Ireland was also popular, even Viking defeats were taken in good part!

Peder at work

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