We are creating a geographically precise digitized map of 1866 Rio de Janeiro with historically accurate delineations of streets and property—which include over 15,000 parcels in the central parishes. More than 300,000 historic records including names, addresses, and other detailed information covering the period 1840-1890 are also being organized in a database to reveal interconnections, networks, movement, and change over time. The digitized maps and data created by the project provide the spatially-oriented resources for dynamic visualizations that will inform historical analysis as well as illustrate key findings. Extensions of the project into the twentieth century, through 1930, are planned in the years to come.
This project is one of three urban history/geography research groups in the Stanford Humanities Center: Digital Initiatives. At UNICAMP in Campinas, São Paulo, the Cecult research group is studying the spatial history of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At Brown University, James Green is developing detailed analyses of residents and businesses in a neighborhood around Praça da Constituição (Tiradentes). These projects are developing the most detailed and complete geohistorical archive ever assembled for a city in South America.