The Sven Hedin project

Sven Hedin (1865 – 1952) was a Swedish explorer and geographer that devoted his life to exploring Central Asia and Tibet. He spent almost 20 years in Asia, mapping such a large unexplored territory that it has never been paralleled in history. The purpose of the present project is to make a series of five expeditions following in the tracks of Hedin, covering his expeditions to Persia, Central Asia and Tibet 1886 – 1935. The plan is to make one expedition each year, starting with Iran in 2013. Our objective is to travel in the footsteps of Hedin, with the help of his maps, diaries and photographs, and follow up on his geographical and ethnographical observations as well as repeating some of his most spectacular adventures. Like Hedin did we will capture the landscape, villages and towns we travel through and the people we meet, but with digital photography and videography.

Hedin’s collection of approximately 10,000 photographs has been buried for over a hundred years in the archives of the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. The large undertaking of digitizing these old glass plates have only just begun and we are the first to take full advantage of this unique material. We will search for the exact locations, where Hedin’s photographs were taken, in order to capture new images that precisely match the old ones. This lets us visually document the changes of these areas during the last century.

Sven Hedin’s life as an explorer is one of the greatest adventure stories of all time. We will convey our results and Hedin’s story to the public in a groundbreaking new way, with interactive and geographically oriented media powered by Google Earth that will set a new standard for virtual exploration of historical and modern adventures.

Lars Larsson - Expedition leader

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