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Funding of Outstanding Research Libraries: Establishment of a Portal of Geo-Referenced Hidden Maps on East and Southeast Europe (GeoPortOst)

Project Manager: Tillmann Tegeler
Project Editor: Hans Bauer
Technical Realization: Ingo Frank
Project duration: 2014–2019

GeoPortOst is a pilot project for the electronic indexing and georeferenced presentation of hidden maps. The starting point is a card catalog indexing 27,000 non-independent maps on East Europe that are included in monographs and edited volumes. Initially, this catalog has been retro-converted to the B3Kat database. In addition, a further 250 books (published between 1850 and 1918) on Southeast Europe that contain maps have been evaluated with regard to their potential value for research. In this way, a further 500 maps have been selected and cataloged. After the completion of the formal indexing, the content of 912 have been marked up with detailed metadata and described by means of Integrated Authority Files. The digitized maps were released for georeferencing through crowdsourcing. Finally, the hidden maps have been integrated in the map-portal GeoPortOst, where they are searchable and indexed electronically for the first time.

In the second phase of the project (2017–2019), GeoPortOst will be supplemented by retrodigitized maps, as well as by copyright protected born digitals. Thematic maps, which dominate the collection are always related to their context, and combine the map face and its data base; to create a relationship between them the software tool MapContextualizer will be developed. This data infrastructure will make it possible to enrich maps with metadata, geographical data and additionally with context data. By using semantic web and linked data technologies GeoPortOst will provide aggregated information for analysis and reuse.

This will turn the portal into a central location for the research on maps for East and Southeast European scholars. The project therefore follows the tradition of both the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) and its predecessor institutions in conducting in-depth analyses of library collections.

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