Ideas

Brainiac

Big Data: A millennium of Venice

Round flying bookshelf against blue sky

connel_design/stock.adobe.com

Advertisement

That’s the length of shelf space occupied by a dusty collection of documents in the State Archives of Venice. The records, which span more than 1,000 years, include legal, banking, commercial, diplomatic, and governmental records from one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities. An ambitious historical effort called the Venice Time Machine will digitize and analyze them with advanced algorithms that can recognize human handwriting. The vast amounts of historical minutiae — the contents of every ship that reached a given dock, for instance, or the diplomatic gossip from long forgotten kingdoms — could rewrite not just the story of Venice, but of the continent as well.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com