Today, in the UvA Urban History Seminar, prof. dr. Nicholas Terpstra (Toronto) introduced the DECIMA GIS project on 16th century Florence, showing how one could go about mapping social, economic and sensory life in the early modern city.

How can we use GIS methods to integrate a wide variety of historical data on early modern cities into a visualized spatial framework? In this seminar prof. Nicholas Terpstra will present the  Digitally Encoded Census Information and Mapping Archive (DECIMA), a powerful tool for exploring and interrogating the social, economic and sensory life of Florence under the rule of Duke Cosimo I (1519-1574). In his presentation he will discuss how innovative digital projects such as DECIMA allow us to develop new questions and interpretations on the relation between space and society in the early modern city.

Nicholas Terpstra is Professor and Chair of History at the University of Toronto, and Editor of Renaissance Quarterly.  He specializes in the intersections of gender, politics, religion, and charity in early modern Italy.  Recent publications include The Art of Executing Well:  Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy (2008), Lost Girls:  Sex & Death in Renaissance Florence  (2010), and Cultures of Charity: Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy (2013). His forthcoming book is tentatively titled:  Exiles and Religious Refugees in the Early Reformation.