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Roger Sennert, Jens Wagner & Michael Ross (Siegen)

Putting Itinerant Cinemas on the Map

The Siegen Database of Itinerant Cinemas contains information on stations of itinerant cinemas in Germany and neighbouring countries from 1896 onwards. The data is taken from the weekly trade paper Der Komet, which lists the commercial attendees of a vast number of fairs and festivals. With the Siegen Database of Itinerant Cinemas, we want to explore the distribution of this particular form of film presentation in geographical and socio-cultural terms. For a proper analysis of the data, two major obstacles had to be overcome:

  1. The database and the analysing tools have to provide means to interpret ambiguous or unreliable information.
  2. The geographical information has to be visualised with maps to allow for a full grasp of the geographical aspects of the material.

Our paper presents the theoretical and practical solutions to these problems.