A map for the Grande Progetto di Pompei and the Portale della Trasparenza

The underlying principle of the PBMP is that space is perhaps the single most powerful metaphor for structuring (at least) archaeological information. In our project, it is the shape of the ancient city and its parceling into modern, Roman, and pre-Roman geographies (or more abstractly, geometries) that serves as scaffold for a valuable set of research information: the bibliography. Much, much more can be done with this structure and one day we hope to do it: attach images of frescos to walls, mosaics to floors, artifacts to rooms and buildings, and even stratigraphy to trenches. Someday.

What we can do today is a little less grand, but no less important. In 2012 the Grande Progetto di Pompei was initiated with the hope that an infusion of interest, support, and above all funding would forestall both the normal deterioration of the site and the catastrophic collapses that made headlines in Novemeber, 2010 (see the discussion of the collapse of the House of the Gladiators on Blogging Pompeii).   Since then, the Grande Progetto has been the subject of intense interest and scrutiny.

In response to that interest and scrutiny, the Soprintendenza archeologico di Pompei (SAP) has created a web interface to the information about the work and progress of the Grande Progetto. The portale della trasparenza offers the public a glimpse into not only the variety of work that is being done to preserve Pompeii, but also how much is being spent and by and to whom. It is a spectacular step forward, though some have reasonably wanted still more (the OpenPompei group, for example, has asked for improved data structures).

The SAP had already done the hard work of getting these data together, but we realized that the PBMP could help more easily represent where the money was going, in both the figurative and literal senses. The map below shows the 13 major divisions of the Grande Projetto and clicking on each will return the information served by the SAP, translated into English. That is not to say that it is translated into common English, as the bureaucratic conventions of any culture will confound the average reader. Still, for the purpose of completeness, all data are preserved.

We at the PBMP make no claims to the value or the virtue of decision making reflected in these data. They are as they are, and we thought we might help interested people know more. That is all. If we have goal, it is to foster discussion. Therefore, comments, corrections, additions, suggestions and poignant civil discussion are all welcome in the comment section below.

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