The aim of this topic on Ménestrel is on the one hand to reference the relevant data on the Internet in order to produce maps of the medieval world, but on the other hand, it is also to allow developments in this field. Herefore we call for contributions in three areas: to improve the accuracy of the data, to extend the mapped areas, and to diversify the thematic fields.
Serial mapping data are already available on this site. Thus we hope to pool existing resources and to facilitate the work of scholars who want to draw their own maps, but their accuracy is still insufficient. In particular, the dating and nature of the changes that have occurred to these medieval entities, as they have been presented in these files (creation/ moving/ deletion of a bishopric) are taken from textbooks of religious history, sometimes based on insufficiently checked data. Therefore, further research is needed in this context, which can only be done collaboratively.
At the moment, data provided in this Ménestrel section concern mainly the territory of modern Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain; yet it is obvious that such a division is both frustrating and anachronistic. It is, therefore, important to achieve, at least at the European level, if the same type of data are also knowledgeable for the neighbouring areas.
For the moment, we have only presented the bishoprics and the collegiate churches as an example for the possible results of mapping medieval Europe in GIS. It is obvious that this is not the only kind of serial data which is able to be mapped. The location of, in particular, monasteries, palaces, main routes, natural resources,... could easily be included in this project. We hope that this section will not only become a directory or database, but also a platform for exchange and scientific cooperation to broaden the scope of data to be mapped and to exploit these results in a scientific perspective .