Shared Data: Rome Cinemas

In April 2019, I was pleased to attend the second symposium of the Irish Audiences Research Network, hosted by the Film & Screen Media Department at University College Cork. The symposium’s focus was on “Exploring cinema-going past and present: memory, cultures, place” and the participants showcased the dynamic research now being done to excavate, record, and map experiences and memories of cinema and to situate these within multi-layered social, spatial, and cultural geographies. My own contribution to the symposium sought to make the case for moving beyond the customary limits of disseminating our research findings to seek new ways to share and recombine our data using WebGIS as a platform for data exchange. As a result of the networking opportunities afforded by the Irish Audiences Research symposium, a sampling of data from the seminal Italian Cinema Audiences Research Project on cinemagoing in 1950s Italy was shared on ERMA/Mapping Movies (be sure to visit the project website’s own impressive collection of online maps). My hope is to expand Mapping Movies during phase three of its development into an even more collaborative and heuristic space for an open-ended historiography that can zoom from the local to the global to foster comparative research as users explore data and discover new connections and research questions.