The Imperia Project

The Imperia project was conceived and created under the direction of Kelly O'Neill (Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, History Departemnt, Harvard University). The project applies GIS (geographic information system) methods and tools to a range of historical maps, databases related to demographics, cultural institutions, and economy of the Russian Empire, mostly of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

MAPA: Digital Atlas of Ukraine

The MAPA: Digital Atlas of Ukraine programundertaken by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University and its partners, brings the latest innovations of information technology to studies of modern Ukrainian history and contemporary political geography. The researchers at HURI conduct their own studies and encourage scholars and students within Harvard community and beyond to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for illustrating and explaining economic, historical, political, and social transformations within Ukraine using spatial and temporal analysis.

Currently the program includes the following projects:

The Great Famine Project

The MAPA Great Famine project focuses on the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33, also known as the Holodomor (“death by starvation”), and widely considered in Ukraine and beyond to be a genocide. The project is concerned with the geospatial analysis of Holodomor losses and the factors that may have influenced distribution outcomes. The MAPA program’s web maps and analysis related to the Holodomor would not be possible without reliable demographic data. To obtain this information, HURI works with a group of demographers and historians at the Ptoukha Institute of Demography and Social Studies and the Institute of History in Ukraine and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the U.S. In addition to population statistics, the project incorporates data on the ethnic composition and administrative division of Ukraine in the 1920s and 1930s, country's ecological zoning, as well as Soviet government policies and their results, including levels of collectivization of the agriculture, grain procurement plans, and data on the fulfillment of those plans. 

Link to Famine Story Map Journal

The Rus’ Genealogy Project

The Rusian Genealogy Web Map is an attempt to render visually the dynastic connections made between the ruling family of Rus’ (the Volodimerovichi) and the rest of medieval European royalty in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The information represented on the map comes from the Rusian Genealogical Database compiled by Christian Raffensperger, with technical assistance by David J. Birnbaum. Both projects highlight the extreme interconnectivity of Rus’ with the rest of medieval Europe and are part of a larger goal of reimagining medieval Europe.

The Historic Podillya Project

This project presents the place names (settlements, castles, hydronyms) identified up to date in the territory of historical Podillya in the Late Middle Age. Information about each identified place name includes historical name, modern-day Ukrainian name, English transliteration of modern name, year or period of the first mention, and first county affiliation of this or that settlement in the Late Middle Age. The electronic map traces the dynamics of the identified place names mentioning in the written records. 

Revolution of Dignity Project

This project includes the following modules: Religions Module, History and Identity Module, Language Module, Revolution of Dignity Web Map, Leninfall. Specific descriptions of modules below.

Religious Revolution: In the process of granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephaly and during the recent presidential and parliamentary election campaigns, the question of religious self-identification emerged at the center of nation- and state-building processes in Ukraine. The new “Religious Revolution” module of “MAPA: Digital Atlas of Ukraine” opens possibilities to analyze recent changes in Ukraine’s religious landscape. MAPA’s Religion module presents sociological survey data about Ukrainians’ religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices. In the web map, data from three surveys (2013, 2017, 2019) can be used to acquire a visual representation of regional religious differences and changes over time.

History and Identity:  The project is structured as a set of web maps presenting the regional (oblast level) division of respondents’ attitudes to the Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea, and the Donbas conflict. To conduct geospatial analysis users can enable thematic (choropleth) map layers and then overlay them with chart map layers containing comparative data from the 2013 and 2015 surveys. The layers visualize respondents’ attitudes to monuments, holidays, historical figures, and events associated with the history of Ukrainian lands. These data sets also allow users to pose and seek answers to their own research questions using web map interactivity and built-in tools (widgets).

Language: The “Language” module is structured as a set of web maps presenting the regional (oblast level) division of respondents’ self-described language practices and identities, as well as their attitudes toward language policies in Ukraine. In addition, those language maps can be compared with maps presenting respondents’ attitudes toward the historical past, the Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea, and the Donbas conflict. There is also a built-in functionality to combine them with the statistics web maps, which visualize a number of demographic, social, economic, and political variables describing Ukraine in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2010, and 2014.