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Publications of Frolov Alexey
History magazine - researches, 2021-5
Frolov A. - Seigniorial revenue from villages by general norm: two volosts of Smerdy in Derevskaya Pyatina of Novgorod Land of the late XV century pp. 73-82


Abstract: This article analyzes the data described in the most ancient Russian scribal book – Derevskaya Pyatina of Novgorod Land compiled in the early 1499 based on the land documentation of 1495/96 – 1496/97. The object of this research is the records on seigniorial revenue collected from two volosts – Mikhailovskaya Smerda and Berezayskaya Smerda. The choice of these volosts for analysis is explained by accurate dating in scribal books, as well as by the fact that the income of all villages in these two volosts was calculated by general norm. The subject of this research is the correspondence of the description of revenue by villages to the results calculated by the scriber, as well as correlation between the amount of payment collected from the village and the economic indicators of this village. The novelty of this work lies in the analysis of statistical data taking into account that the scribal book of the XV century contains the records of different times: the composition of households and impost of villages were recorded at the time of the scribal description, while the revenue was calculated a little bit later. This explains certain discrepancies between the payment rate applied to the village and its economic characteristics. Special attention is given to verification of statistical record of scribal book for errors, such as miscount. The author suggests that the criterion for defining the rate of return for the village was not an abstract value – taxation in “obzha”, but the number of households that could be easily determined without special competency of the observer. This hypothesis can be tested only in terms of using the proposed methodology for analyzing other lands according to the scribal books of the XV – XVI centuries.
Historical informatics, 2021-3
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.
Historical informatics, 2020-4
Zakharov A.V., Frolov A. - GIS Spatial Mobility of the Szlachta under Peter the First in a Prosopographic Study pp. 206-218


Abstract: The article discusses possibilities of geochronological tracking technology for studying the spatial mobility of social groups in Russia in the past. The GIS proposed is necessary to visualize and analyze spatial data in a prosopographic research of about 400 szlachta representatives in Peter’s Epoch. Spatial mobility is understood as the intensity of person's translocation through settlements and his ability to respond to external challenges by moving. The archival materials of the Senate inspection of the szlachta (1721-1723) served the basis for the study and the resource formation. Particular attention is paid to the design of software research tools – the PostgreSQL database and the web GIS based on the latter. It is the first time when geochronological tracking as a geoinformatics method was used to prosopographically study the Russian nobility. The methods of historical source spatial data representation and visualization are implemented in the form of a geodatabase that is publicly available. Two program modules (the GIS among them) grant a wide range of Internet users an access to historical sources text data as well as synchronically visualized data on the szlachta service under Peter the first.  The authors conclude that it is promising to create a special web interface which provides users with flexible text and geodata filtering and analysis. The web project created can be used both for research in the field of social history, historical geography, genealogy and for educational purposes in such courses as “historical computer science” and “digital humanities”.
Historical informatics, 2020-2
Frolov A. - Tools of Geoinformatics to Study Pistsovye Knigi pp. 218-233


Abstract: The article discusses methods of systematization and visualization of codicological observations on an archival manuscript by means geoinformatics. This solution provides for summarizing the information of a historical source and its maximum accessibility for a wide range of Internet users. The web project created can be used not only for research but educational purposes as well. The paper grounds on the results of 1542 Semen Klushin’s codicological study of Novgorod pistsovaya kniga covering Vodskaya Pyatina (The work is stored in the Russian State Archive of Ancient Manuscripts, RGADA). The physical medium of a historical text, i.e. a manuscript, is considered as a special space in its own reference system. This makes geoinformatics methods applicable to determine the topology (i.e. the mutual relationship) of its objects. The approach proposed is tested for the first time that's why the main attention is paid to the description of the most important stages followed when processing the source codicological materials to turn them into a GIS project based on a relational database. The web resource created provides for visualizing a significant bulk of manuscript data. However, it should not be considered a map or a spatial model. It may be determined as a manuscript codiological GIS scheme published as a web resource but without a map. The scheme is adjusted and controlled by tools which are used when working with databases and are not limited to the cartographic interface.
Historical informatics, 2019-3
Frolov A. - The Digital Turn in History and Historical Geoinformatics pp. 115-123


Abstract: The article addresses ties between GIS technologies used to study spatial aspects of history and a phenomenon known as the “digital turn” in humanities. In fact, the development of historical geoinformatics is the essence of the “digital turn” for a research domain studying spatial aspects. Irrespective of tasks handled by a researcher, GIS provide for selection and visualization as well analysis of geodata. The “digital turn” differs from the “digital transition”. The latter is a refusal to create base maps by means of analog art devices and creation of electronic maps by means of graphic software. The specificity of relations between geoinformatics and historical research is revealed through the mismatch between the positivist epistemology of GIS and approaches of historical research. The article emphasizes that GIS is mainly geodata rather than a map. The prospects for the development of historical geoinformatics are associated with a more distinct awareness of this fact. This awareness should facilitate integration of geodata of various research groups on a common digital platform. 
Historical informatics, 2019-1
Frolov A. - On the Way to the National Historical GIS of Russia: Two Approaches to Integrate Research Geodata pp. 143-151


Abstract: The article discusses two approaches to integrate historical geodata that have been created by various research teams and individual scholars with different goals and in different ways within the context of the general movement of historians’ community using geo-information technologies to the national historical GIS. The author believes that creation of a special fund accumulating geodata of different owners is not a good solution. Much more effective solution is metadata aggregation. The main difference between these two approaches is an answer to the question whether it is necessary to alienate geodata from their owners in order to provide access to interested users? The answer to this question determines the feedback between a user and the contents of a database. The organization of such interaction is of fundamental importance for the professional community of researchers. Some technical solutions recommended for organizing user access to geodata by means of aggregation are described in the article in more detail. The main conclusion is the relevant integration of various historical geodata by aggregating their metadata in a certain internet resource which must make some technical demands on data providers, be a mediator between a user and a database and delegate a user geodata access rights established by a geodata owner.
Historical informatics, 2017-2
Frolov A. - Dynamic Map as the Basis for GIS Historical Map pp. 61-73


Abstract: The article studies historical mapping on the basis of modern geographic information technologies. Today, historians are used to maps demonstrating historical dynamics by means of static images. However, dynamic maps which are more in line with the nature of historical research are considered more promising. The article describes different modes of transmitting reconfiguration of vector objects over time both in the desktop version of GIS-project and web-GIS. The approach proposed resides on data on the time when each objet appears and disappears (lower date and upper date) as its attributes. Basic principles of dynamic historical mapping were put forward around 20 years ago in English historiography. However, that map has not been widely used and specific solutions of its creation have not been discussed either. Rampant development of web-GIS technologies let us address the problem again. The research novelty is in the view on a dynamic map as a basic solution to develop a general GIS-platform integrating historical geography research results obtained by different historians. It is the first address to technical issues of a dynamic map creation in Russian literature.
Historical informatics, 2017-1
Frolov A., Golubinskii A., Kutakov S. - Web-GIS Drawings of the Russian State of the 16-17th Centuries (http://rgada.info/geos2/) pp. 75-84


Abstract: The study aims at a web-GIS that has been publicly-accessible since the early 2017.The article describes the sources used, the algorithm of their processing, the software, the structure of GIS-project attribute table, the ways to geocode digital copies of drawings as well as the methods of closer linking of drawing’s image to a location. Web-interface is characterized as well. It lets a user work with the resource through any browser with the help of scaling and navigation tools, text search, reading of selected object attributes, variation of raster transparence and choice of cartographic underlay. The article also describes the possibilities to address the initial attribute table and its lookup and view undeformed (not geocoded) large-scale drawing image (including the possibility to scale, move and rotate an object). In spite of different techniques of drawings execution as well as their different purpose and origin, the drawings studied are rather good at describing historic reality. This provides for considering a set of drawings as a document complex that can undergo general procedures of online publishing. The technologies used are mainly based on the employment of “open” software (from creation of desktop version of GIS-project to spatial libraries used to visualize web-versions). Optimization of web-GIS work mainly relates to minimization of traffic between a server and a client. To do this the work is organized so that downloading of all raster and most of vector objects starts only after the client’s computer sends a user query for a definite object to the server. The main result of the study is a free Internet access to the complex of Russian drawings of the 16th-17th centuries. The number of cartographic drawings totals 1000 and most of them have good images. 49 drawings have been found that had been left out by V.S. Kusov’s catalogue. Over 700 drawings have been linked to a locality and 140 have not been localized yet. An original method to localize a territory shown on the drawing on the map has been developed.
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