❮ Projects Foot Steps of Rome: Calculating the Cost of Travel in the Roman Empire

This project seeks to use GeoPySpark, a Python library for analyzing geospatial data, to produce novel datasets which can be used by archaeologists, classicists, and historians. Initial work will include calculation of tobler cost-rasters for a better understanding the cost of travel in the Roman Empire. Ideally, this project would produce multi-modal cost-surfaces which include information about ports and knowledge derived from reconstruction of technologies from the era.



In the beginning of the project you will prepare by:

  • Become familiar with the GeoPySpark codebase and its environment
  • Create a roadmap

Coding Phase 1

In the first coding phase, you’ll create a juptyer notebook using GeoPySpark to do cost distance calculations.

  • Create a Tobler walking speed notebook
  • Expand notebook to include cost distance calculations

Coding Phase 2

In the second coding phase, you’ll further the analysis by determining the changes through time for cost.

  • Optimize relevant processes in GeoTrellis/GPS
  • Calculate cost distances at other points in time
  • Determine the changes in cost between time periods

Coding Phase 3

In the final coding phase, you’ll encorporate new data into the analysis, produce graphics, and write up your results in a blog post.

  • Seek to include knowledge about ports, sea travel, and technologies from the era
  • Potential branching out to draw inferences about trade
  • Create a single layer that shows the differences in costs
  • Produce graphics and/or interactive maps
  • A blog post about the work
  • Familiarity with Python
  • At least a basic understanding of GIS concepts
  • Knowledge of Scala and Roman history not required but helpful


Until next time

Summer 2018 session is closed

Applications for the Summer 2018 session of the Azavea Open Source Fellowship Program are now closed. Sign up for notifications about future opportunities.