Extending Metadata Standards for Historical GIS Research: A Case Study of the Holocaust in Budapest and the Armenian Genocide in Turkey

Extending Metadata Standards for Historical GIS Research: A Case Study of the Holocaust in Budapest and the Armenian Genocide in Turkey

Shelley Burleson (Texas State University, USA) and Alberto Giordano (Texas State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9845-1.ch058
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Abstract

This chapter proposes a structure for handling commonly observed uncertainties in geo-historical data, using as case studies two historical geographical information systems (HGIS) projects that interweave historical research with the geography of genocide. The first case involves the ghettoization of Budapest's Jews during the Holocaust in the second half of 1944. The more recent work, and the second case, covers the Armenian genocide spanning most of WWI and several years afterwards. The authors suggest using existing metadata standards as one way of handling the inherent uncertainties of geo-historical sources. While not a definitive solution, they argue that such an approach provides a starting point and a platform to conceptually frame the use of geo-historical data in HGIS.
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2. Two Cases Of Genocide

The 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Kunz, 1949; United Nations, 1948) defines genocide as the intentional attempt to destroy another group, either in whole or in part. “Groups” are defined in national, ethnical, racial, and religious terms, to the exclusion of the political and social dimensions. The U.N. (1948) also limits the means of intent to killing, serious mental or bodily injury, inflicting unlivable conditions, preventing births or forcing sterilization, and, finally, removing children from the group and placing them in another group. Several extensions and refinement of the 1948 definition have been proposed (Chalk, 1989; Derderian, 2005; Huttenback, 2002; Jørgensen, 2001; Miller, 2003; Schabas, 1999; Staub, 1989), but for our purpose of this article the U.N definition suffices.

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