This workshop seeks to establish a foundation for developing a collaborative tool for understanding and analyzing maritime connections through mapping multiple elements of historical, archaeological and social data. Based on presentations of case studies focused on maritime cultural mobility, data visualization, local perspectives and cooperative initiatives the workshop will stimulate conversations on how a web-based mapping system can be designed and built to allow new, multi-layered questions and analyses of the long duree maritime history and heritage of the Indian Ocean to be investigated.
As ocean spaces and maritime pasts become increasingly relevant as a form of ‘shared heritage’, maritime and underwater cultural heritage is emerging into the mainstream heritage discourse. The development of maritime archaeology and subsequently the interpretation of maritime and underwater cultural heritage has traditionally centered around ships and shipwrecks sites. These narratives have driven both disciplinary research and heritage management decision-making. In recent years, however, this focus has shifted towards a broader perspective on maritime landscapes yet shipwrecks, despite often being perceived as a colonial, dissonant features in cultural landscapes, have remained a dominant element in understanding maritime heritage, maritime connections and the maritime past. How can the data encapsulated in shipwrecks, port cities and coastal communities be better integrated into new understandings of maritime cultural landscapes and connections?