Ryan Horne

  • Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History

I am currently the Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Digital History at the World History Center at the University of Pittsburgh.  Previously, I was a postdoctoral research fellow jointly appointed in the History department and the Carolina Digital Humanities Imitative at UNC Chapel Hill, where I earned my Ph.D. in History in 2015. I am a comparative historian who focuses on geospatial humanities, the construction of social networks, and hegemonic power and civic opposition in borderland communities. In addition to my own research, I
develop new software and methodologies that uniquely combine geospatial, textual, and social network analysis. A portfolio of my work is available at https://rmhorne.org/digitalportfolio/.

I was previously the director of the Ancient World Mapping Center (AWMC) at UNC Chapel Hill, an interdisciplinary research center that specializes in historical geography and geographic information science in pre-modern Mediterranean area. Under my directorship, the AWMC transitioned from an organization that previously focused on the production of
print maps into a center with an active research agenda embracing geospatial databases, spatio-temporal research, and semantic web technologies. Through working with interested faculty members, students, and external partners, the center has become the premier
provider of open-access geographic data covering nearly a millennium of cultural and physical change. By embracing linked data standards, I led the center into collaboration with other organizations, including Pelagios Commons and the PeriodO gazetteer of
historical periods, to further develop geo-humanities research and open data exchange. As part of my work at the center I developed the Antiquity-À-la-carte web mapping application and Strabo Online. I also completed a geographically accurate, freely-accessible digital map of pre-modern Europe and Western Asia. Now receiving nearly one million views a year, this resource has been enthusiastically adopted by diverse projects including the al- Thurayyā Islamic Gazetteer, Stanford's ORBIS application, and the Pelagios Commons initiative. I published an article detailing these efforts in the ISAW Papers series.

In addition to my work and the Ancient World Mapping Center, I have extensive experience developing, editing, and maintaining digital gazetteers. I serve as an editor on the Pleiades gazetteer and graph of ancient places, which serves as an authoritative source for data on over 35,000 ancient locations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Through collaboration between editors, users, and students Pleiades has developed into a critical component of the larger ancient world linked data ecosystem, and serves as a powerful pedagogical tool for the study of ancient geography and history.