E. Sherman, A. Dodson

Duke University (UNITED STATES)
Visualizing Venice is a website, database and mobile application that interrogates growth and change in the city of Venice, utilizing historical materials (archival documents, historic maps and vedute), on-site research, new web tools and visualization technologies. This collaborative project is run by graduate students at Duke University and IUAV (Istituto Universitario Architettura di Venezia).

This project goes beyond traditional art historical tools such as drawings and 2D maps –static images not well suited to answer questions about the evolution and transformation of urban and architectural spaces. Our team, collaborating with computer scientists at Duke, the Renaissance Computing Institute, and the Nesting Foundation in Venice, is developing an interactive website allowing users to view archival documents geo-referenced to modern and historical maps. Through these digitized documents, users can examine how financial donations and building activity transformed the city from the Middle Ages to the present day. We also utilize 3D software to create digital models of historical buildings, and to animate architectural change and transformation.

In this talk we will present our work on a pilot section of Visualizing Venice –the isola of S.S. Giovanni e Paolo. This isola, home to important religious and civic institutions (the Dominican Basilica di S.S. Giovanni e Paolo, the Ospedaletto, and the Scuola Grande di San Marco) as well as urban development projects (the Fondamenta Nuove), is a vibrant cross-section of Venetian civic life and building activity. Through these new technologies, we can offer a compelling narrative of the complex history of this urban space.