Revisit the Roman Empire with Orbis
Updated: Jun 13
Essentially, it shows us how big an achievement it would have been to run a Roman empire spanning 3 continents. 600+ historical sites and 1000+ historical maritime routes have been mapped and forms a part of this navigation computation system which factors in granular information such as wind speed and wave height prevalent at that time. Not only can one see how long would it have taken to travel from Point A to Point B using the modes of travel available at that time (donkey, carriage, ship and eleven more), but also one can see how expensive it would have been to make that journey (in local currency denarii) i.e. both the time and cost parameters are taken into consideration.
One can only imagine the effort gone into making this mapping project a reality. At a basic level, it is like a computer game to play around with, for the history aficionados (click on Start Exploring the Roman World to begin). At a Geographic Information System (GIS) level, Orbis demonstrates how beautifully one can assimilate complex transport and network data onto a palatable visual illustration i.e. a map. I presume the Romans would have loved to see this and determine the most time and cost-efficient way to move their army or to transport their food grains across continents!
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