The Geographic Information System of Traditional Folk Culture (17501900) (hereinafter only Gistralik) is a common project of the Institute of European Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, and the Institute of Computer Science, Masaryk University.

Gistralik constitutes a unique geographic information system of traditional folk culture (17501900) which interconnects map documents with information on traditional folk culture. The information are defined by locality (Moravia) and time (17501900). The major outcome of the project in the form of an on-line accessible geographic information system allows the users (professionals and amateurs) to use an information platform that includes the knowledge about documented phenomena in the field of tangible and intangible folk culture as well as about its hitherto treatment always in relation to a particular settlement locality or different administrative and geographic units (community, court district, parish, domain, region). While creating this system, we emphasized the knowledge from diverse source documents to be concentrated in one information database that helps improve the awareness of diversity, richness and importance of historical forms of traditional culture as a significant factor contributing to the formation of local, regional and national identity, and cultural specific features based thereon. Our geographic information system of traditional folk culture becomes an important source of information for educational, popular-instructive and specialized activity (in the field of ethnology, history, cultural history, sociology etc.).

To allow the users to utilize all the functions enabled by the geographic information system, there are instruction manuals available on the website, which help the users get familiar with the system. The manuals explain in which way the rules have been defined that are applied when acquiring, storing, editing and administering the data in many cases, these data are “indefinite” (for instance a possible affiliation of a community to more domains; indefiniteness of the period which can be mentioned as “the early 19th century” in the documents, etc.). The instruction manuals also include a more detailed specification of source documents, which include both printed production, manuscript and iconographic sources, as well as three-dimensional objects administered by public institutions or stored in private collections. They also make a list of all source documents, treated within the project so far, accessible for the users. They contain definitions of basic administrative and geographic units based on which the users will be able to depict information of ethnologic nature directly on the map. The users also have an instruction manual available that explains how to work with the list of categories which contains key words, i.e. the themes through which the content of all excerpted information included in the source documents is coded.

Further to map documents, we have worked-out an overview of localities with historically substantiated names for the entire historic region of Moravia (in Czech and German). We have extended the above overview by additional information, such as altitude, number of inhabitants and houses as of 1850, 1854, 1869, 1880 and 1900. For the corresponding time points, we keep records about the number and ratio of Czech and German inhabitants, and also numbers of people of different denominations (Catholics, Evangelists and Jews) in the case of 1900.

All the information from source documents, which are identified by key words, are interconnected with particular localities in a corresponding court district, parish, domain or region, namely according to the above time levels, or more exactly by years between 1750 and 1900.

The project Geographic Information System of Traditional Folk Culture (17501900) with identification code DF12P01OVV015 was developed within the Programme of Applied Research and Development of National and Cultural Identity (NAKI) of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.