[P4851] Historical GIS applications to analyze economic geography and transport infrastructure in the Ottoman Empire

Created by M. Erdem Kabadayi
Sunday, 11/19/17 3:30pm


Geographic information systems (GIS) techniques and applications have been recently becoming popular in historical studies. In this proposed panel, we would like to explore possibilities of geo-spatial analysis using GIS. In our understanding, GIS is underutilized if it is used just as a tool to visualize results of historical inquiries. It is powerful enough, and suitable for, embedding it into the formulation of hitherto unformulated research questions. We have chosen two fields within which we could employ GIS via bringing in the geo-spatial aspects into our analysis: economic geography and transport infrastructure.

The rich information contained in Ottoman tax registers such as tahrir or temettuat registers, are available for mappable geographic units, on sub-district (kaza) and district (sancak) levels. Detailed economic data regarding occupational structure, agricultural production and animal husbandry can be extracted from these registers. A geo-spatial mapping of these data with corresponding geo-referenced administrative units via GIS could enable us to answer new research questions. The locating and analyzing concentrations of:
- occupational specializations
- agricultural produce, related to suitability of land use, soil fertility, elevation levels
- use and price levels, of livestock and beasts of burden
are the ones we will prioritize in two of the proposed papers related to economic geography.

GIS’s ability to calculate exact distances among locations within a transport network, has untapped potential to re-draw routes and to question their importance within the transport infrastructure of Ottoman Empire. Two other papers of the proposed panel will focus on charting possible routes both for coastal and land transport networks and superimpose historical routes on these networks by taking into consideration of geographical features such as bathymetry and elevation.






Will Hanley

(Florida State University)
I am Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Florida State University. I studied at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Toronto, and Oxford before taking my doctorate in history at Princeton (2007). I am completing work on a book about the emergence...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Antonis Hadjikyriacou

(Bogazici University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Semih Celik

(Koc University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Co-Author;

Ali Yaycioglu

Ali Yaycioglu is an historian of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. He was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. He studied International Relations at the Middle East Technical University, Ottoman History at Bilkent University, and Islamic legal history...
Panel Participating Role(s): Discussant;

M. Erdem Kabadayi

(Koç University, Istanbul)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Osman Özkan

(Koc University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Turgay Koçak

(Koc University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Co-Author;
Celik, Semih (European University Institute) - Abstract Second Author
Koçak, Turgay - Abstract Second Author