February 18, 2019

Getty Foundation Awards Grants for Digital Mapping of Cultural Heritage Sites

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—The Getty Foundation has awarded grants to four universities in support of projects that will use digital mapping tools to document and analyze significant cultural sites around the world. The nearly $1 million in grants will help projects already underway in Pompeii; Florence; Çatalhöyük, Turkey; and Rio de Janeiro create or expand a GIS (Geographic Information System) to manage geographic, cultural, and archival data.

The funds will go to two archaeological sites: Pompeii and Çatalhöyük. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, will complete a three-year project titled the Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project, which will map the location of artworks on the well-documented sites. Stanford University in California will use the grant to advance its Çatalhöyük Living Archive, an experimental web application representing data from twenty-one years of excavation at the site of the Neolithic settlement.

In addition, the Humanities Research Center at Rice University in Houston will collaborate with the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro on a two-year project to digitally integrate historical photography and cartography into a platform that charts the city's changing landscape over time, called imagineRio. Meanwhile, the University of Exeter in England will integrate three existing platforms—a GIS, a 3-D modeling project, and a GPS-enabled mobile application—to build a new platform that will digitally reconstruct the art and architecture of Renaissance Florence in their original settings.

Commenting on the new grants, Joan Weinstein, acting director of the Getty Foundation, said: “Technology is truly an area that benefits from collaboration, so we’ve brought this approach to our grantmaking. Funding scholars who work together in a common area, in this case digital mapping, can help them learn from one another and push the whole field forward.”

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