The Making of Digital Historical Atlas: Some Examples from South India
The process of the mapping of the sub-continent started with its chaining (literally) as part of the early colonial enterprise. The agenda then was putting into time frames of knowledge and compartments of linearity so that as much data as possible could be mined and make India comprehensible to its new conquerors.
These processes overlooked the much more flexible ways of how geographical and historical knowledge had been couched in sources found on the subcontinent from both literature and inscriptions. Recent historiographical advances that make history a more inclusive subject compel us with the challenge of incorporating more history than merely the political or monumental.
New methodological tools vide the vast array of options provided by computer technology and through the use of relevant software now permits one to not only view more data but also allow for projecting the simultaneity of space and time. In other words, the linearity imposed by simply giving primacy to the dimensions of ‘time’ by historians can be convincingly countered if the recognition, as articulated in the views of recent geographical writings that ‘space’ must be viewed in terms of its multiple dimensions, is given equal importance.
Through the procedures and methods of digital mapping the simultaneity of historical events and processes is possible in order to indicate how in a given spatial context historical change over time manifested itself to ultimately show that it was inhabited by co-existing different cultural levels of historical evolution.
Keywords: SOUTH INDIA, ANDHRA PRADESH, HISTORICAL MAPPING, DIGITAL ATLAS
Professor Aloka Parasher-Sen
Professor of History, Department of History,
My major publication include two books published in the main area of my interest in social history, namely, early Indian attitudes towards foreigners,tribes and castes. Three edited volumes on different aspects of the social, economic, cultural and religious history and archaeology of the Deccan.
I have collaborated with organization like the International Institute of Information Technology, the Centre for Deccan Studies, the National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management, the Salar Jung Museum and the State Department of Archaeology and Museums in Hyderabad. At the national level I have written course material for the Indira Gandhi National Open University and been advisor and member of committees at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University. At the International level I have been a Visiting Professor, in addititon to having had a Fulbright term, at the Univesity of California at Berkeley and have had a DAAD Fellowhip to be at the South Asia Institue at the University of Heidelberg.
I have presented rearch papers at several international conferences both in India and abroad like at the ICANAS sessions at Toronto and Hong Kong, at the University of Keil and University of Texas at Austin.
Currently I am Partner, heading the Andhra Pradesh team, in a major Ford Foundation funded Project on making a digital atlas of South India.