I just put a new portfolio project idea on the map

No, the jokes don’t get any better than that.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m working with the Exeter Book for my dissertation, which is a remarkable privilege and something that I hope I don’t hate doing after this whole process is over. As a result, I guess it’s a surprise to no one that I try to apply new digital tricks to what I read in the Book, and I think I may have finally found a way to make the study of KML worthwhile to me.

I’m going to try and map out the travels of Ƿidsið (“Widsith”).

The very name “Widsith” means “wide(ly) travel(ed),” which is as apt a description as one can give of the main character in the Anglo-Saxon poem. As a traveling scop, Widsith travels and performs in numerous courts and halls, but he never stays put for long.  The poem itself is a catalog of these visits, often giving names of the tribe and their leader.  My proposed mapping project will be to collect as much information about places mentioned in the poem and then place that information on a map in order to get a clear idea of the scope of his wanderings.

This really will be a great deal of work as there are a lot of locations, I’ll be doing a lot of normal, everyday research for it, such as digging in books or on the web for good information, but I’ll also be doing a great deal of research into the use of QGIS and KML, too.  It’s entirely possible that doing all of that work might very well end up creating nothing interesting, but I think something else will happen: it will make for a very interesting map once the research has been done and I have a set of coordinates for each of the kingdoms in the list.

Now who wants to help me learn how to run the necessary software?

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