Imperiia: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Data Drive Catalog

Data security. Data-driven decisions. Data mining. Data science. Big data.

You get the idea: data is everywhere. You consume it, you produce it. But what is it, really? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, we use the word "data" to describe

related items of (chiefly numerical) information considered collectively, typically obtained by scientific work and used for reference, analysis, or calculation.

That may or may not resonate with you. But however you define it, you will most likely agree that data is a valuable commodity. The better the quality, and the harder it is to obtain, the more it is worth. Archives and libraries are filled with related items of information, but converting it into data that is both usable and meaningful requires labor and expertise.

That is where we come in. We provide freely-accessible, well-documented, utterly fascinating data about the world that was once the Russian Empire to a primarily English-speaking audience. Why do such a thing? It's simple. Our goal is to lower the barrier for spatial analysis so that students, scholars, and members of the public can connect the tsarist past with today's technology.

If you find yourself making use of our datasets, or have ideas for a new dataset, we would love to hear about it. Email imperiia@fas.harvard.edu or hit us up on Twitter @ImperiiaProject.

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