Concurrent networks


This report presents the progress made on the project on one of the concurrent maritime networks of Venice Republic, the maritime network of Ottoman Empire. The project focused on how the 3rd and 4th Venice Ottoman War affected the trade in the Mediterranean Sea in the 16th century. The change fiscal revenues of three commercially important cities in Ottoman Empire were used to estimate the change in the volume of trade in the region. Geographical Information System was used as a method of choice to represent the geographical change in the volume of trade as an effect of the wars. An application was developed using MS Visual Studio and C# programming to integrate all elements of the project.


Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, stated that human knowledge should be organized on three levels: (1) the classification of facts by subject (zoology studies animals; botany studies plants, and so on); (2) the organization of knowledge by temporal dimension—history; and (3) the understanding of facts relative to spatial relationships—geography.1 The problem with the traditional approach in studying history is the separation of the three elements which renders a comprehensive historical understanding unattainable. Proper knowledge synthesis can only be achieved when the three elements are glued cohesively. This project aims to study Venice-Ottoman relationship in the 16th century and how the war affected the trade in the Mediterranean Sea. We accomplished this by gluing the municipality fiscal revenue (fact aspect), its evolution in time (temporal dimension), and its importance in geographical context (spatial element).

The Republic of Venice, formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice, was a state originating from the city of Venice in north eastern part of Italy. Throughout its existence of more than 1000 years (7th century until 1797), the Republic of Venice grew to become one of the prominent naval power of its time. 2 The Ottoman Empire was a transcontinental monarch that spans Southeast Europe, Western Asia, Northern Africa and the Horn of Africa. At its peak, the Ottoman Empire was considered to be one of the most powerful states in the world. The Ottoman state was founded by Turkish tribes in 1299 and ended in 1918 upon its defeat in the World War I.3

The historical fact that we try to present is the fiscal revenue of three importance commercial cities in the Ottoman Empire; Dubrovnik, Bursa, and Brasov. The three cities were chosen because of their commercial importance as well as the availability of data. Dubrovnik is an important port city in the Adriatic Sea; Bursa is an important commercial city for silk trading; while Brasov is an important transit city for goods traded from Asia. The fiscal revenues are interpreted to be a representative of the volume of goods traded through the city. The time chosen in this study is the 16th Centuries, as in the 16th century there were 2 wars between the Ottoman Empire and the Venice Republic, the 3rd Ottoman-Venice War (1537-1540) and the 4th Ottoman-Venice War (1570-1573).

Literature Research

We performed the literature research to find the available data regarding the Venice-Ottoman relationship using material available at the Bibliotheque Cantonale Universitaire (BCU). The limited sources available in BCU, as well as language barrier (some books are in french), prevented us from performing the most comprehensive literature research possible. As our primary source of data, we used “An Economic and Social History of The Ottoman Empire “ by H.Inalcik and D.Quaertet.


One of the tools used for our project is QGIS and our aim is to give a good representation of the data by using this tool. In the design we have used mainly vector layer. Raster layer is used to give good looking maps and to well-distinguish between the land and the sea. Considering the trading routes between Venice and Ottoman Empire, we tried to show them in an effective way with black lines, blue lines, and stars. The black line shows the main trade route which passes through the main cities and the thickness of the line represents the overall amount of revenue made at a certain year. The blue lines are numerous in number and they show the flux of the trade in a city. The blue lines are modified by a snake algorithm to have a nice looking and smooth shape. Stars show the most important cities (Dubrovnik, Bursa and Brasov) where the trade took place. The amount of revenue for each city is shown by the size of the star, in other words when the star is big and we have many routes it means that the revenue is higher. A sample of the drawn map is given below.

Figure 1: Final end product at button 1525
Figure 1. The drawn map showing the trade route between the three cities in 1527
Figure 2 The drawn map showing the trade route between the three cities in 1538
Figure 2. The drawn map showing the trade route between the three cities in 1538

The two pictures presented above represent the trade routes in 1527 and 1538. As evident from the picture, there is a change in the size of the stars and the thickness of trade routes, which correspond to the changes in the volume of trade. And as we see 1538 corresponds to the 3rd Venice-Ottoman war. The map corresponding to 1572 shows similar results with figure 2 and in fact this year corresponds to the 4th Venice-Ottoman war. Therefore the results of this project show that wars positively affect the trade and increase the revenue of the cities.

User Interface Development

The main part of the project is integrating the three elements in a user-friendly manner. To develop an application that serves this purpose, we use MS Visual Studio and C#. Visual Studio is the tool that we used to integrate different parts of project (graphics that we drew on MS Excel, maps that we drew on GIS) and define their features.  In our opinion Visual Studio is one of the best platforms for developing projects, as it has a lot of built-in components. In our project we developed Windows Forms Desktop Application and used tools label, some buttons, and some picture boxes. Language that we used for the programming part is C#.This language is object oriented, which means most functionality of components is already implemented, and main task of developer is to use them properly. In our project we developed two form partial classes, form1 and form2, one for each of 2 screens. We implemented button clicks and a picture box click which function to show map and graphic. The picture representation of our user interface is given below.

Figure 3 The user interface of the application developed in this project
Figure 3 The user interface of the application developed in this project

This design allows us to represent the evolution of the fiscal revenue on the left diagram, and coupled it with the spatial representation of the three cities used in this study, presented on the right map.


In this project, we have developed an application that aims to integrate the temporal and spatial representation on the evolution of fiscal revenues of 3 important commercial cities in the Ottoman Empire using a combination qGIS, MS Visual Studio, and C# programming. Based on the result of our literature research the 3rd and the 4th Venice-Ottoman war positively affect the fiscal revenues of 3 commercially important cities in the routes between Venice and Ottoman.


  1. Journal of Interdisciplinary History, xlii:1 (Summer, 2011), 1–13.
  2. Encyclopaedia Britannica,
  3. Encyclopaedia Britannica,