Hyperborea presents “Territori”: the Italian web portal of cadastres and historical cartography

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by dr. Saverio Pialli

The project

During 2011 Hyperborea managed an high level project focused on the concept, planning and online publication of Territori, the Italian web portal of cadastres and historical cartography. In particular Hyperborea made tasks like the graphical project, the informative architecture and the technological structure of Territori. On assignment of the DGA (“Direzione generale per gli Archivi”, the Italian general management for the archives), Hyperborea realized a web tool able to be integrated within the SAN (the Italian Archival System) technological infrastructure.

Territori represents a single access point to the documentation preserved in all the Italian State Archives that joined in the project. The first project partners were Milan State Archive and Trieste State Archive that made their data and images available for the realization of a first release of the system, presented the 7th November 2011 during the “International Archival Day”, the international conference organized every year by Trieste State Archive. Initially, the web portal Territori allowed the consultation of the “Catasto Teresiano” of Milan State Archive and of the “Catasto Franceschino” of Trieste State Archive. The example of the first institute has been followed by Genoa State Archive and Venice State Archive that made the Genoa “Historical Cartographic” and the “Censo Stabile” of the Regno Lombardo Veneto available. Every other Italian State Archive that has realized filing, cataloguing and digitization project of their maps and cadastral sources can join in Territori, improving the global documentation managed by the portal and following the promotion and valorization aims of the project.

Territori has also been presented during the event “I poli archivistici e le reti informative”, organized by two Italian instituions, MIBAC (“Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali”, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and DGA (“Direzione generale per gli archivi”), from the 15th to the 17th December 2011. The last release of Territori has been published during 2012 and the link has been inserted within the SAN website, in the area dedicated to the “Portali tematici”.

Territori’s features

Territori is the italian web portal of cadastres and historical cartography and belongs to the general project of the National Archival System (SAN) that aims at offering a unique point of access to a particular typology of archival documentation preserved in the several Italian State Archives. In particular, Territori is able to integrate the research, publication and visualization systems of every institute (at this moment Venice State Archive, Genoa State Archive, Trieste State Archive and Milan State Archive) based on the publication and consultation of archival series and high resolution digital reproductions. Territori belongs to the SAN, the Italian national archival system, and it is part of the PAN, the Italian national archival web portal.

Territori has been developed on the basis of the features of the other web portal that belongs to the SAN: the communication structure, the articulation of the several sections and the browsing mechanism have been planned to be suited to the subject.

The peculiarity of Territori is the ability to offer not only the description of the cadastral and cartographic documents, but also the related high resolution digital reproductions, in order to allow the consultation of the maps with full details. The cadastral and cartographic heritage represent an interesting source both for the scientific research about a territory and for the attraction itself related to the consultation of maps by non-specialist users.

Thanks to its several sections, Territori offers every user a lot of ways to interact with the data, the information and the cultural heritage in general.

First of all, the section “Trovarchivi” allows the user to find every Italian state archive that has joined in the project providing access to its cartographical collection.

The sections “Soggetti produttori” and “Fonti” provide an overview of both the institute or the people that have produced the documentation shown by Territori during the time, and the detailed description of the various sources of the documentation. Today the sources available on Territori are: “Cartografia Storica di Genova”, “Catasto della Venezia Giulia”, “Catasto Franceschino”, “Catasto Teresiano”, “Censo Stabile del Regno Lombardo Veneto”, “Fondo dell’Archivio Piani”, “Nuovo Catasto Terreni”, “Nuovo Censo Lombardo”. Every source can be browsed through an interactive interface based on both the tools provided by Territori and the tools that belong to each State Archive. The user has three ways to have access to the source. He can browse all the documentation of the source, consulting the archival description of every archival unit and visualizing the high resolution image. The user can make a full text research in the source, finding a preferred item already known. He can also make a detailed research setting different parameters to filter the results.

The “Timeline” is an innovative tool, never seen in the archival domain and allows to show the cultural heritage in relation to the time during which the documentation has been produced. In particular the timeline shows the archival series and the sources that belong to the global documentation managed by Territori. Every cultural item shown in the timeline is connected to the geographical area in which it has been produced, thanks to an integrated visualization tool; clicking on every item a pop-up window provides an overview of the full description of the source.

Territori also offers the georeferencing of the toponyms related to the managed documentation: this is the functionality of the “Accesso geografico” section. An interactive map, based on a cluster system, shows all the “density area” where there are lots of clustered toponyms. Clicking on each toponym a pop-up window shows the related sources and all the documents that belong to it, offering the possibility to browse the archival description and to visualize the high resolution digital reproduction.

Last but not least, in the section “Ricerca”, there is a search engine that allows different typologies of researches: a general research, a research by people, a research by toponym and a research by typology of maps.

Territori is able to offer other services. The section “Protagonisti” allows the description of historical personalities named in the documentation managed by the portal. The “Gallery”, accessible from the homepage, is a slideshow of the thumbnail of the best document digital reproductions. Every image represents a direct link to the high resolution digital reproductions of the documentation preserved in the several state archives that belong to the project.

 

Related links:

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Hyperborea website | www.hyperborea.com

Hyperborea’s article about Digitalmeetsculture (italian language)

Hyperborea’s post on Facebook

Hyperborea’s twit

Territori website | www.territori.san.beniculturali.it

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