Even though no medieval maps of Chester survive, Mapping Medieval Chester uses scholarship to create an accurate and interactive map of the city. This project imported paper maps as different layer into GIS software and then attempted to reconcile them (not easily done with older maps). They then worked on features of medieval importance: “Each of these features was digitized as a separate layer in the GIS, partly because one aim was to be able to re-present them in the final web-resource in a way that allows users to selectively turn each of them either on or off, as needed, and partly because making each of the layers – each of the topographic features – independent allows them to be depicted visually differently in the GIS in terms of line-weighting, colour, shade and so forth, which helps to communicate more effectively the different cartographic information contained in the GIS (Fig. 4).”

As occurred when I worked on my Paradise Lost map (even the literary version), spatial mapping reveals different things than prose mapping: This exercise in mapping late-medieval Chester has also helped the project team to reflect on how medieval townscape is experienced and understood through modern maps and map-making, and how this differs through engaging with ‘textual’ mappings recorded by those contemporaries who experienced and knew the city first-hand….”

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