Water and Social Space: Using georeferenced maps and geocoded images to enrich the history of Rio de Janeiro's fountains
Metcalf, Alida C.
Water infrastructure is essential to any city, but especially so in the history of Rio de Janeiro. Historically, Rio de Janeiro lacked easy access to fresh water. Not only was it not situated along a river but it was impractical to dig wells over much of the original city because of marshes and a high water table. A single aqueduct completed in the eighteenth century supplied the city with water until the nineteenth century when additional aqueducts began to be built. By necessity, public fountains were vital for the city. The public spaces around fountains were frequented by many residents, the majority of whom were slaves responsible for the delivery of water. Using a geospatial database with georeferenced historical maps and geocoded historical images, this article explores the waterworks of the city of Rio de Janeiro in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, paying particular attention to the functional, monumental, and social aspects of fountains
Rio de Janeiro; fountain; aqueduct; georeference; geocode