From Plants to Glaciers: Mapping and Photographing Russian Imperial Borderlands

Copy the text below to embed this resource

2023-02-08 (Creation date: 2023-02-08)
Main contributor
Tatiana Saburova
This digital project is a part of my larger research project on exploration and photography in the Russian empire’s borderlands in Siberia and Central Asia (Mapping and Photographing Asiatic Russia: Imperial Landscapes of Exploration) and it will serve as an analytical instrument to bring data from different disciplines to visualize research results and make this project available to scholars and general public. This project aims to develop a digital map with data, using georeferencing, to link texts, historic maps, and photographs to examine scientific exploration and colonization of the Semirechie region in Central Asia in the early 20th century. This project will locate and visualize expeditions led by Prof. Vasilii Sapozhnikov (1862-1924), a botanist and glaciologist, and give a new possibility for complex interdisciplinary analysis of his findings and representations of the region. When this project is completed, it can be used for further analysis of the environmental transformation of landscape if it is linked with other data, including scientific records and aerial photography. This project can be also used as a prototype for analysis and visualization of other expeditions, like Sapozhnikov’s expeditions to the Altai mountains.

This research project links history of science and exploration, history of the Russian empire and its borderlands in Asia, visual studies, environmental studies, and spatial history, examining writings, photographs, and maps produced as a result of the expeditions in Jeti-su [Semirechie] in the late 19th-early 20th century. It aims to identify a role of scientific exploration in imperial colonization of the region and how explorations in geography, geology, glaciology, and botany represented the region as a territory and a natural resource to be incorporated into the empire. I will present this work-in-progress discussing steps taken, reflecting on the learning curves and research experience creating a database to collect and organize data I need for making ArcGIS web map, learning ArcGIS Pro for mapping the expeditions to Semirechie and Altai and using ArcGIS StoryMaps applications to visualize and present my research.
Wednesday Noon Digital Scholarship Series
IUScholarWorks Repository
Rights Statement
In Copyright
Related Item

Bibliographical/Historical Note

Dr. Tatiana Saburova, Lecturer, Department of History / Co-Director of the Russian Studies Workshop
Indiana University Bloomington

Access Restrictions

This item is accessible by: the public.