The GIS Forma Urbis Romae Project: Creating a Layered History of Rome


ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships




Using advanced GIS technology and accepted scholarly methods, this multi-disciplinary project intends to create a layered history of Rome by updating Forma Urbis Romae, the cartographic masterpiece of ancient Roman topography published in 1901 by archeologist Rodolfo Lanciani. This extremely accurate map measures 25 by 17 ft and uses an innovative graphic system that represents Rome’s historic urban fabric as a series of transparent layers from ancient to modern. The map remains the standard archeological reference for Rome even though it does not incorporate archeological discoveries uncovered since its original publication. This project critically examines, updates, and eventually republishes the map as an interactive website that will also serve as a dynamic geo-database for scholars.