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Digitizing Mimar Sinan's Istanbul Heritage

Prepared By: Yunus Kemal Aydoğan

Blog Post: Büşranur Bekman

Web-based mapping applications are potent tools for geographically locating places and providing users with an interactive experience. In particular, these tools provide an effective way to visually represent historical events, places, and artifacts by marking and annotating the map. Navigating this interactive map gives users a real-time experience to understand the research topic better.

We have been introducing studies contributing to the field as a blog series on our platform. In this blog post, we will focus on the work prepared by Yunus Kemal Aydoğan within the scope of the Digital Humanities Workshop organized under the coordination of Büşranur Bekman within the Center for Ottoman Studies (OSAMER).

In this work, Aydoğan used Başak Oğuz Ural's book "100 Mimar Sinan Works of Istanbul" published by Kültür A.Ş. in 2016. The data in the book was made interactive through ArcGIS Storymaps and Google My Maps. He also prepared 2D maps through ArcGIS.

These maps include the geographical locations of various works of Mimar Sinan, ranging from mosques to madrasas, bridges to baths, and information about the structures. Thus, history buffs and art lovers, in particular, have been allowed to discover Mimar Sinan's heritage in Istanbul. In addition, by providing detailed information and photographs by clicking on each building, Mimar Sinan's architectural style and aesthetic understanding were shared on a digital platform. Let's discover the works of Mimar Sinan step by step with this work prepared by Aydoğan!


At first, a comprehensive database of the data in the artifact was prepared for the use of the tools and the program. In this database, the coordinates of all the structures in the work were also determined. Then, quotations from the work were identified and added to the database. Finally, the database was enriched by utilizing images from personal photo archives such as Eski İstanbul Fotoğrafları Arşivi, Turan Akıncı, and Mustafa Cambaz. The bibliography of all the images used is indicated on the map prepared.

1. Google MyMaps

First, we created a MyMaps layer with the database we prepared and mapped 98 Mimar Sinan's works mentioned in the book. Thus, we obtained an output that relevant visitors can use as a map over navigation and access the information quoted from Ural's book.

2. ArcGIS Pro

Secondly, we prepared maps with the database we prepared in our study with the help of ArcGIS Pro. We colored the map we obtained by assigning coordinate data according to category classifications. You can find four of these maps below:

3. ArcGIS StoryMaps

We obtained the most comprehensive output of the study with ArcGIS StoryMaps. We have presented all the structures with visuals and source work citations. We have also fixed our MyMaps map at the beginning of this presentation so that those who wish can examine the location of all structures without the need for extra effort.

The Heritage of Mimar Sinan in Istanbul

The heritage of Mimar Sinan, which are included in Başak Oğuz Ural's book "Istanbul's 100 Works of Mimar Sinan" and in our study:

  1. Ahi Çelebi Camii

  2. Bali Paşa Camii

  3. Çavuşbaşı Camii (Mahmud Ağa Camii)

  4. Damat Ferhad Paşa Camii

  5. Ferruh Kethüda Camii (Balat Camii)

  6. Gazi İskender Paşa Camii (Kanlıca Camii)

  7. Güzelce Kasım Paşa Camii

  8. Hacı Evhad Camii

  9. Hadım İbrahim Paşa Camii

  10. Hürrem Çavuş Camii

  11. Hüsrev Paşa Camii (Ramazan Efendi Camii)

  12. Kapı Ağası Camii (Mahmud Ağa Camii)

  13. Mesih Mehmed Paşa Camii

  14. Molla Çelebi Camii (Fındıklı Camii)

  15. Muhyiddin Çelebi Camii (Çukurcuma Camii)

  16. Nişancı Mehmed Paşa Camii

  17. Nişancı Camii

  18. Piyale Paşa (Tersane) Camii

  19. Rüstem Paşa Camii

  20. Sinan Paşa Camii

  21. Sokollu Mehmed Paşa (Azapkapı) Camii

  22. Süleyman Çelebi (Üsküplü) Camii

  23. Şah Sultan Camii

  24. Şehzade Cihangir Camii

  25. Turşucuzade Hüseyin Çelebi Camii

  26. Yunus Bey Camii

  27. Arakiyeci Ahmed Çelebi Mescidi (Meşeli Mescidi)

  28. Arpacıbaşı Mescidi

  29. Çivicizade Kızı Mescidi (Çavuş Camii)

  30. Davut Ağa Mescidi (Sarayağası Mescidi)

  31. Defterdar Mahmud Çelebi Mescidi

  32. Derviş Ali Mescidi

  33. Duhanizade Mescidi

  34. Düğmeci Paşa Mescidi (Dökmeciler Mescidi)

  35. Hacı Hamza Mescidi

  36. Hadım İbrahim Paşa Mescidi (Esekapı Mescidi) ve Medresesi

  37. Hasan Çelebi Mescidi

  38. Kaysunizade Mescidi

  39. Kiremitçi Ahmed Çelebi Mescidi

  40. Memi Kethüda Mescidi

  41. Mimar Başı Sinan Ağa Mescidi

  42. Sokolllu Mehmed Paşa Mescidi

  43. Süleyman Subaşı Mescidi

  44. Üçbaş Nureddin Hamza Mescidi ve Medresesi

  45. Yahya Kethüda Mescidi

  46. Hüsrev Kethüda Darülkurrası

  47. Atik Valide Sultan Hamamı

  48. Çinili Hamam (Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa Hamamı)

  49. Çömlekçiler Hamamı (Akarçeşme-Dere Hamamı)

  50. Haseki Hürrem Hamamı

  51. Hüsrev Kethüda Hamamı

  52. Merkez Efendi Hamamı

  53. Odabaşı Behruz Ağa Hamamı

  54. Sokollu Mehmed Paşa Hamamı (Yeşildirek Hamamı)

  55. Valide Sultan Hamamı (Ayakapı Hamamı)

  56. Cebeci Hanı (Rüstem Paşa Kervansarayı)

  57. Kurşunlu Han (Rüstem Paşa Kervansarayı)

  58. Sultan Süleyman Kervansarayı

  59. Semiz Ali Paşa Kervansarayı (Ali Paşa Hanı)

  60. Haramidere Köprüsü

  61. Sultan Süleyman Köprüsü (Büyükçekmece Köprüsü)

  62. Sultan Süleyman Köprüsü (Silivri Köprüsü)

  63. Sultan III. Murad Köşkü

  64. Atik Valide Külliyesi

  65. Haseki Hürrem Sultan Külliyesi

  66. Kara Ahmed Paşa Külliyesi

  67. Kılıç Ali Paşa Külliyesi

  68. Mihrümah Sultan Külliyesi

  69. Mihrümah Sultan Külliyesi (Üsküdar)

  70. Sokollu Mehmed Paşa Külliyesi (Eyüp)

  71. Sokollu Mehmed Paşa Külliyesi (Kadırga)

  72. Süleymaniye Külliyesi

  73. Şehzade Mehmed Külliyesi

  74. Şemsi Ahmed Paşa Külliyesi

  75. Zal Mahmud Paşa Külliyesi

  76. Kapıağası Cafer Ağa Medresesi (Soğukkuyu Medresesi)

  77. Nişancı Mehmed Bey Medresesi

  78. Rüstem Paşa Medresesi

  79. Semiz Ali Paşa Medresesi

  80. Sultan Selim Medresesi

  81. Ayasofya Minareleri

  82. Topkapı Sarayı Mutfakları

  83. İbrahim Paşa Sarayı

  84. Evvelbent (Paşadere) Kemeri

  85. Güzelce Kemer

  86. Havz-ı Kebir (Baş Havuz)

  87. Kovuk (Eğri) Kemer

  88. Mağlova Kemeri

  89. Uzun Kemer

  90. Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa Türbesi

  91. Hacı Ahmed Paşa Türbesi

  92. Hüsrev Paşa Türbesi

  93. Pertev Mehmed Paşa Türbesi

  94. Siyavuş Paşa Türbesi

  95. Sultan II. Selim Türbesi

  96. Şah Huban Hatun Türbesi

  97. Şehzadeler Türbesi

  98. Şeyh Yahya Efendi Türbesi

As can be seen, the use of mapping tools provides researchers with a new perspective on the humanities, enabling broad comparisons to be made. It also allows us to make better sense of this information and position it correctly in our minds. These contribute to a more in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the research topic.

Focusing on Mimar Sinan's works in Istanbul, this study emphasizes the significant role of digital humanities in preserving and sharing historical and cultural heritage. The potential of technology and digital tools in art and history research is also clearly demonstrated in the creation of this map. Exploring Mimar Sinan's heritage in such a modern and interactive way is an essential step toward understanding his unique achievements and architectural genius.

You can access the outputs of this project based on Ural's work via the links below:

Click for Google My Maps

Click for ArcGIS StoryMaps

Yunus Kemal Aydoğan

Sakarya University

Department of History

Undergraduate Student


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