Exploring Literary Landscapes: From Texts to Spatiotemporal Analysis through Collaborative Work and GIS

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that the study of literary representations of landscapes can be aided and enriched by the application of digital geographic technologies. As an example, the article focuses on the methods and preliminary findings of LITESCAPE.PT—Atlas of Literary Landscapes of Mainland Portugal, an on-going project that aims to study literary representations of mainland Portugal and to explore their connections with social and environmental realities both in the past and in the present. LITESCAPE.PT integrates traditional reading practices and ‘distant reading’ approaches, along with collaborative work, relational databases, and geographic information systems (GIS) in order to classify and analyse excerpts from 350 works of Portuguese literature according to a set of ecological, socioeconomic, temporal and cultural themes. As we argue herein this combination of qualitative and quantitative methods—itself a response to the difficulty of obtaining external funding—can lead to (a) increased productivity, (b) the pursuit of new research goals, and (c) the creation of new knowledge about natural and cultural history. As proof of concept, the article presents two initial outcomes of the LITESCAPE.PT project: a case study documenting the evolving literary geography of Lisbon and a case study exploring the representation of wolves in Portuguese literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal Of Humanities And Arts Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


  • Portuguese literature
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Collaborative work
  • Databases
  • GIS


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