Historical informatics
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MAIN PAGE > Journal "Historical informatics" > Contents of Issue № 03/2021
Contents of Issue № 03/2021
Information technologies in history education
Mikhaelis S.I., Mikhaelis V.V., Mikhaelis D.V. - Methods to Visualize Historical Research Data: Courts of the Russian Empire after the Judicial Reform of 1864 pp. 1-18


Abstract: The article studies the issues of information visualization to demonstrate the results of historical research. It shows how MS Excel and Tableau Public Desktop Edition software can be used to visualize data and generate ideas on the basis of big data sets as well as facilitate the process of scientific research. This software can be used to show data in the form of tables, graphs, and charts helping to present information on the Russian Empire’s court activity. This is the so-called presentation method of visualization which is introductory in its nature and focuses on the audience for which the report is performed. The research is based on statistics of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Empire and archival data for the period from the second half of the 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century. It is concluded that today’s level of computing equipment allows researchers to have modern software tools at hand that provide for demonstrating results of their research at conferences, lectures, in dissertations, etc. The article can be used at scientific-methodical seminars of the departments, at professional development courses for teachers as well as to teach undergraduates and graduate students to present the research results.
Methodological problems of historical informatics
Valetov T. - Free Map Services (Google, Yandex, OSM) for Creating historical GIS: Digital Map of the Trans-Siberian Railroad pp. 19-37


Abstract: The article describes technological aspects of digital historical map creation taking as an example the 1891–1916 Trans-Siberian Railroad map. The author faced two tasks. On the one hand, he wanted to create a historical GIS map in shapefile format; on the other hand his goal was to tell us about software tools and data which proved to be most suitable for solving the first task. Present day map services can be of use at the initial stage of digital map creation in case most of objects coincide with current ones. It is important however to know where discrepancies begin. The author studies various open access map services both corporate (Google, Yandex, Bing) and those created by many users on a crowd sourcing basis (OpenStreetMap, Wikimapia). He pays particular attention to work with Google Earth application which he considers to suit better than specialized GIS applications for the initial formation of a set of objects on the map (in this case, railway lines). The author compares open map services in particular those providing access to aerial (satellite) images of the Earth and addresses different kinds of cartographic systems properties as useful tools for historical GIS creation (satellite images, panoramic photos, the Wiki mode user comments, etc.).
Databases and search systems
Karpov S.P., Ilyashenko V.A. - Relation Database Covering Black Sea Region Prosopographical Studies of Italian Black Sea Trading Posts (13th - 15th cc.) pp. 38-48


Abstract: The article discusses the process of database creation that covers notarial documents telling us about the history of an Italian trading post Tana (Azov). The material for the database has been collected over several years as part of a research addressing a set of documents about the history of medieval Italy. In the course of the research a considerable body of material has been collected. Its analysis was a hard task since data were arranged in a peculiar way. To achieve the goal a relational database consisting of sixteen tables which in turn contained several dozen fields has been created on the basis of DBMS Access. The article also describes the main goals and difficulties the database creation is accompanied by as well as those emerging when analysis by means of inquires is made. These are identification of names mentioned in the sources as well as identification and removal of multiple references to the same personalities. This database covers multilateral information about commercial transactions made in Tana in the 13th-15th centuries including places, dates and details of these transactions, detailed information about people involved as well as links to sources of this information.
Goretskaia E.M. - Social Profile of Gulag Prisoners - Authors of Memoirs pp. 49-68


Abstract: Political repressions affected representatives of all social strata and groups. This period left a bulk of documents, including memoirs, where the most intimate and difficult thoughts and recollections of their authors are reflected. One of valuable sets of memoirs of political repressions history is collected by the Sakharov Center website. The electronic resource "Memories of the Gulag and their authors" is valuable not only because it exhibits memoirs of more than one and a half thousand people who suffered from repressions but also because of the biographical information about the authors of these memoirs compiled on the basis of information from the memoirs. Biographical data on the victims of the Gulag system became the main source of this study. They allow us to describe and analyze the social portrait of Gulag victims who left memories. Biographical data became a source for creating the database "Gulag prisoners-authors of memoirs". The social portrait of the repressed and its characteristic features were described, as well as a comparison of the social portrait of male and female prisoners was made. Males and females were analyzed separately to pursue the goal set. The analysis suggests that there is a certain similarity of biographical characteristics among the authors of the memoirs which is probably due to the fact that the educated, intelligent segments of the population were one of the objects of a purposeful repressive policy followed in the Soviet state..
Geographic information systems and 3D reconstruction
Gasanov A. - Interactive Environment and Virtual Reality to Reconstruct Manufacturing Processes (Moscow Trekhgorny Brewery in the Late 19th - Early 20th Centuries). pp. 69-85


Abstract: The article studies the creation of virtual reality interactive environments as a form of presenting historical 3D-reconstruction results. This approach provides for restoring not only static objects such as architectural appearance and interiors but also dynamic ones. The latter are industrial processes of the past, for instance. The manufacturing building of Tryokhgorny brewery (the biggest in the Russian Empire) was an object for virtual 3D-reconstruction. The article describes the source base and the reconstruction of indoor spaces of the brewery building in the late 19th - early 20th centuries and reconstructs brewing processes as well. The result of the work done is the creation of a virtual reality application with historical sources verification and information tips systems included. The author tests technologies of mechanical animation and particle systems and forms interactive environment logic by means of basic software “Unreal Engine 4” through the visual programming interface “Blueprints”. The virtual environment created lets users take on the role of a brewery worker and make necessary brewing operations in virtual reality.
Kanishchev V.V., Kunavin K.S. - GIS Measurement of Nobility's Lands in the Late 18th - First Half of the 19th Centuries pp. 86-102


Abstract: The article explores the way GIS technologies can be used to study historical dynamics of environmental processes in an agrarian society. It addresses several landowner estates in Tambovskaya Guberniya in the late 18th — first half of the 19th centuries when the vast steppe lands in the region were finally reclaimed. Since written documents have no clear evidence of the dynamics of sizes of various estate lands understudy, cartographic materials were the primary source for calculating this dynamics. Although there are some deviations from geographic coordinates in maps of the General Land Survey and Mende Land Survey, GIS technologies made it possible to determine (with a minimal error margin) changes in the area of the estates in general and residential, arable, meadow, forest and erosion lands in particular. Promising results of geoenvironmental calculations provided a solid foundation for a historical case study of environmental processes in landowner estates of the forest-steppe belt of Russia. The estates understudy were expanding due to the growth of settlements and arable lands at the expense of meadows and steppes and were characterized by a lack of forest exploitation. A technique introduced can be of value when studying the history of landowner and other estates which can boast preserved plans without distinct geographical references.
Zhurbin I.V., Pislegin N.V., Churakov V.S. - An Industrial Enterprise in an Agrarian Region: The Influence on the Population Dispersal and Migration System (a Case of Pudem Iron Works, the 18th-19th Centuries) pp. 103-123


Abstract: A feature of the Ural mining districts which developed in the second half of the 18th-19th centuries was that new industrial production was locally "introduced" into the existing agricultural settling system. To build a plant a new undeveloped plot was taken. The main criteria were the excess to natural resources necessary for manufacturing and transport routes. According to this principle many iron works and copper works were built in Udmurtiya. Pudem Iron Works were a case too. The main task was to evaluate the impact of the emerging innovations in economic activity on regional development. The formation of the settlement network was found in maps, written and statistical sources of the 17th-20th centuries. Historical data are used that demonstrate the initial stage of settlement, the period when Pudem Iron Works were in its prime and the years of decreasing manufacturing intensity. The use of historical maps demanded their transformation to a modern topological basis and the need to analyze the dynamics of the territory development required the construction of a geoinformation system of settlements. A comprehensive analysis provided for correlating the trends in the formation of a settlements network with migration processes. The initial formation of Udmurt agrarian settlements was influenced by external migrations. Cheptsa banks (the main river of the region) were the first to be developed. Later the banks of its tributaries were settled. After the first wave of external migrations the "oldest" settlements became the centers of internal settlement. Internal migrations occurred until the end of the 19th century. The analysis of the territory settlement dynamics has demonstrated that the creation of Pudem Iron Works (1758) practically did not affect the settling system of the region. Until the beginning of the 20th century the industrial component in the region was limited to the ironworks district and its nearest district. A characteristic feature of the 19th century is the external and internal migration of the Russian population. But at the same time the newly created settlements focused exclusively on the agricultural system of economy.
Frolov A. - Evaluation of Coordinate Points Consistency in Medieval Geographical Manuscripts (the case of Ibn Sa'id's Data on the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean) pp. 124-143


Abstract: The article develops a technique for analyzing mathematical data (longitude and latitude) characterizing the location of cities in medieval Arabic geographical manuscripts. The calculations made at the coordinates of 19 points given by the Arab-Spanish traveler of the 13th century Ibn Sa'id. These data are taken from his text and from the book of Abu-l-Fida referring to Ibn Sa'id. With the help of the Python - PostgreSQL technological stack for each pair of cities a set of spheroids was determined that fit for placement them in the corresponding coordinates.Then the options for intersecting the sets in all possible combinations are analyzed. The consistent exclusion of all possible combinations of cities from the entire set allows these cities to be arranged according to the degree of consistency of coordinates for any number of withdrawn points. The results tell us that most of the coordinates were not the result of astronomical observations. One of the tasks was to test a hypothesis that some of the cities the coordinates of which were determined more accurately served as “reference” points serving the basis for calculating coordinates of the rest of the cities. Complete consistency of coordinates was achieved with the exclusion of 14 cities from the set in the first version and 13 cities in the second one. However, the geography of the rest cities in Ibn Sa’id’s version does not support the “reference points” hypothesis. Abu-l-Fida’s version can boast a result that is more close to the hypothes, but to prove it one has to solve the problem of data origin used by Abu-l-Fida to correct coordinates. The technique described can be applied to any other set of coordinates of ancient geographical descriptions to evaluate the degree of their consistency and search for “reference” points.
Borisik A.L., Pyatigorskiy E.V. - Reconstruction of German Coastal Defense Line in 1942-1944 and Search for Military Historical Heritage Objects. Bolshoi Tyuters Island. Data of Geophysical Methods and Excavations. pp. 144-161


Abstract: The article describes the results of full-scale geophysical 2017-2018 studies conducted with the purpose of detecting military historical heritage objects on Bolshoy Tyuters Island. Sand dunes located in the eastern part of the island were studied in a short time by detailed magnetic exploration with an observation step of about 1 m. The most interesting anomalies of the magnetic field were investigated with the georadiolocation method. The processed results provided for mapping the anomalous magnetic field and creating georadiolocation sections and a dimensional relief model which demonstrate anomalies related to German defense and are promising for further excavations. The pinpoint excavations of the identified anomalies made it possible to explain their nature and discover objects of historical value at depths of up to 5 m. Despite high "contamination" of the dunes with metal debris, the use of geophysical methods with a dense observation system made it possible to detect a large number of objects of military historical heritage and significantly reduce the volume of excavations. Linking of the German positions archival scheme at hand additionally provided for comparing the location of the objects found with symbols made on it. After systematization and generalization of all the information obtained during 4 years of research on the island, it is possible to reconstruct the system of German defense in the area of sand dunes with a high degree of reliability.
Methods and techniques of online analysis
Pavlov K.V. - Virtual Reconstruction of Historical Objects as a Research Domain (1996-2020): the Structure of Scientific Discourse through Citations Analysis pp. 162-178


Abstract: The article searches for and analyzes stable scientific discourse patterns within the subject area named by means of bibliometric tools. To achieve this goal it uses analytical opportunities provided by the Scientific Electronic Library eLIBRARY.RU. Its platform has a selection of Russian research papers studying virtual reconstructions of historical and cultural heritage objects. The author has selected a pool of highly cited works and by means of Gephi software has created an oriented graph that provided for visualizing the links between the selected works, identifying "sub-subject" areas and finding their interaction and mutual influence within this research domain. The research novelty is the use of citation data to identify and analyze the structure of communications in this subject area. As a result, the article clarifies and supplements the existing typology of this research field. The author has distinguished seven relatively independent types of virtual reconstruction technologies use in history and has identified the leading research teams affiliated with Moscow State University, Siberian Federal University, Novosibirsk State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Moscow Institute of Architecture and Center for Virtual History of Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is these research groups whose papers have had a significant theoretical and methodological influence on other authors in the process of formation and development of this research domain and thus confirmed their scientific value.
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