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Launch of the HERA European Spa’s Database Crowd Sourcing Project

Feb 25, 2022 | 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Mapping the European Spa via Crowd Sourcing

Mapping the European Spa via Crowd Sourcing
Image Credit: The European Spa

Anna Cabanel, Kaitlin Ward, Christian Noack (Amsterdam)

Our HERA project, “The European as a Transnational Public Space and Social Metaphor” aims, firstly, at reconstructing the emergence, flourishing, and possible demise of the European spa, from the “golden age” of the 18th and 19th centuries, though the challenges and changes of the 20th century up to the present day. Secondly, we aim at discussing the importance of this transnational heritage for a revaluation and reinvigoration of the Spas across Europe in the 21st century. 

One of the main aims of our project is to trace how the concept of the spa town, and its offsprings, the seaside and the climatic resort, developed and spread across Europe. A late 19th century German source counted about 650 of them in Europe, and it is our ambition to map their dissemination across Europe as completely as possible. To realise this ambition, we depend on local expertise and help. A second important hypothesis of our project is that both the grand and the less well-known spas across Europe emulated a basic model, which also informed the development of seaside resorts and climatic spas. Therefore, we are attempting to map the layout of spas across Europe in more detail, collecting information about the emergence (and possible demise) of key spa institutions as the sanatoria, the (grand) hotels, the casinos, parks and promenades in more detail. While not aspiring the same completeness as with the spa towns in general, we hope to be able to document the spatial a sufficiently high number of resorts in detail. 

With the database crowd sourcing initiative, we hope to tap into local expertise by the way of entering information on spa towns and spa facilities and certain elements of urban infrastructure across Europe. The nodegoat database technology will allows us, and the participating public to easily produce detailed maps of each resort across Europe, reflecting the dynamics of the temporal development of each of the spas. We hope to turn the European Spa project into a genuinely collective research effort!

Please join us on zoom: https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/83002803556

For further information on our Crowdsourcing initiative including video tutorials and manuals see here.