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Zephyr Frank: “Layers, Flows, Intersections: Historical GIS for 19th-century Rio de Janeiro”

February 19, 2013 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

UNC’s Digital Innovation Lab and King’s College London’s Centre for e-Research in the Department of Digital Humanities present a joint videoseminar/live web stream:

Zephyr Frank: “Layers, Flows, Intersections: Historical GIS for 19th-century Rio de Janeiro”

Seating is limited; RSVP to plach@email.unc.edu by February 13 to reserve a spot. All others may participate via live webcast/chat or watch a video recording after the event. see below for details.

A digitized map of 1866 Rio de Janeiro, with historically accurate renderings of streets and  property parcels, provides the setting in which more than 300,000 historic records including names, addresses, and other detailed information have been organized in a database and plotted in space to reveal interconnections, networks, movement, and change over time. The digitized maps and data created by the project provide the spatially-oriented resources for dynamic visualizations. In particular, it is possible to explore movement, social networks, and the intensity of urban experience through the use of GIS-based visualization techniques.  This paper argues for the use of these techniques as an aide to understanding historical experience as “felt and lived” in a rich spatial context.

Zephyr Frank is Associate Professor of Latin American history at Stanford University, where he has taught since 2000.  His research interests include quantitative methods for social and economic history, the application of GIS techniques in historical analysis, and the study of literature in relation to social and cultural history.  His research has appeared in the pages of the Journal of Economic History, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Journal of Social History, and the Journal of Latin American Geography, among other venues.  He is a founding member of the Spatial History Project and the current director of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford University.

How to participate remotely

Remote Real Time (PC)

PC users who wish to participate remotely in real time may use this link: https://meet.ad.unc.edu/plach/R437FWKZ. Participants will need an updated version of Microsoft Silverlight, and will need to download Microsoft Lync Attendee for video and audio access. Internet Explorer is the recommended web browser for participating remotely.

Remote Real Time (Mac)

We apologize that we cannot support remote Mac users at this time.

Post-Event Recording

We will be recording the talk for anyone who cannot participate remotely during the event. We will make the recording available on both the DIL and KCL websites within about twenty-four hours of the event.



February 19, 2013
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Digital Innovation Lab