The Venetian Ghetto: Semantic Modelling for an Integrated Analysis


In the digital era, historians are embracing information technology as a research tool. New technologies offer investigation and interpretation, synthesis and communication tools that are more effective than the more traditional study methods, as they guarantee a multidisciplinary approach and analyses integration. Among the available technologies the best suited for the study or urban phenomena are databases (DB), the Geographic Information System (GIS), the Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the multimedia tools (Video, APP) for the dissemination of results.

The case study described here concerns the analysis of part of Venice that changed its appearance from 1516 onwards, with the creation of the Jewish Ghetto. This was an event that would have repercussions throughout Europe, changing the course of history. Our research confirms that the exclusive use of one of the systems mentioned above (DB, GIS, BIM) makes it possible to manage the complexity of the subject matter only partially. Consequently, it became necessary to analyse the possible interactions between such tools, so as to create a link between an alphanumeric DB and a geographical DB. The use of only GIS and BIM that provide for a 4D time management of objects turned out to be able to manage information and geometry in an effective and scalable way, providing a starting point for the mapping in depth of the historical analysis. Software products for digital modelling have changed in nature over time, going from simple viewing tools to simulation tools.

The reconstruction of the time phases of the three Ghettos (Nuovo, Vecchio, and Nuovissimo) and their visualisation through digital narratives of the history of that specific area of the city, for instance through videos, is making it possible for an increasing number of scholars and the general public to access the results of the study.

How to Cite
FERRIGHI, Alessandra; BORIN, Paolo. The Venetian Ghetto: Semantic Modelling for an Integrated Analysis. DigitCult - Scientific Journal on Digital Cultures, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 3, p. 25-34, dec. 2017. ISSN 2531-5994. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 16 jan. 2018. doi: