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A view of Como from Brunate

Como and its history

The city of Como is the capital of the province of the same name in the region of Lombardy, Italy. At a distance of 45 km north of Milan, Como lies at the southernmost shores of Lake Como, one of the most varied and dramatic Italian Lakes. Additionally, being the Lake's largest town, Como has become a very popular tourist spot, containing various historical and contemporary places of interest, such as works of art, churches and basilicas, numerous villas, buildings and palaces and last but not least wood-swathed hills and beautifully rugged mountains.

"Bosomed deep in chestnut groves" wrote William Wordsworth, the famous English poet about the city of Como in 1791. Even though industries and other big businesses have somehow modified the once splendid image of Como, Como has kept most of its past glory, stretching from the pre-Roman era up to contemporary modern times. Some important places of interest are Duomo, founded in 14th century, Broletto, the town hall built in 13th century, San Fedele and Sant'Abbondio, two splendid Lombard Romanesque Churches. Como was the birthplace of a good number of historically notable figures, including: poet Caecilius, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Pope Innocent XI and Alessandro Volta.

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A view of Como from Lake Como

Project Idea

Being such a diverse city, the history of Como has generated interest among scientists and ordinary people. The main idea of the project "Como and its history" is to recreate the evolution, which Como experienced, by tracing area by area. There are 9 areas in total and each area contains a part of the city, with a Parish Church and a main building. A WebGIS application on Pmapper is developed, which uses digitized maps to provide the user the ability to search and display historical information about the various building and developments that happened historically in this particular area.

Specifically, our allocated area is Area 2, with main Parish Church S. Nazaro and main buildings west of Piazza Cavour. West of Piazza Cavour is bounded by the blocks 8 and 9, they refers to the western zone of Como. The Pmapper makes use of the main map of year 1722, a more recent map of 1870 along with other maps, obtained from the Archives of Como and current aerial view images. The end result of the developed Pmapper WebGIS application is to provide complete historical information, from the 17th century onwards, thereby creating convenience and removing the need to search this same information for a long time in old maps and books.

Main Steps

In order to create the WebGIS application with Pmapper, first information was gathered and then input in the Pmapper. During the information gathering stage, the historical maps were obtained and information was manually extracted from these maps. Additional information about the urban infrastructure and buildings was gathered too. Then the information was entered in database of the shapefile for our area. Following this step, maps were digitized, georeferenced and uploaded on Pmapper server, along with the shapefile. At this point, the Pmapper was designed to be user friendly and for easy navigation.

We wish you a pleasant time using our Pmapper WebGIS.