- Historical geographic information system
A historical geographic information system (also written as historical GIS or HGIS) is a
geographic information systemthat may display, store and analyze data of past geographies and track changes in time. It can be regarded as a subfield of historical geographyand geographic information science.
GIS was originally developed for use in
environmental sciences, military and for computer assisted cartography. The tools developed for these uses are ill suited for the features of historical data.
Techniques used in HGIS
* Digitization and georeferencing of historical maps. Old maps may contain valuable information about the past. By adding coordinates to such maps, they may be added as a feature layer to modern GIS data. This facilitates comparison of different map layers showing the geography at different times. The maps may be further enhanced by techniques such as
rubbersheeting, which spatially warps the data to fit with more accurate modern maps.
* Reconstruction of past boundaries. By creating
polygons of former administrative sub-divisions and borders, aggregate statistics can be compared though time.
* Georeferencing of historical microdata (such as
censusor parish records). This enables the use of spatial analysis to historical data.
Notable Historical GIS projects
Great Britain Historical GIS, A GIS enabled database holding diverse geo-referenced maps, statistics, gazetteers and travel writing, especially for the period 1801-2001 covered by British censuses. Public access via the [http://www.VisionOfBritain.org.uk Vision of Britain] site. Created and maintained by Portsmouth University.
China Historical GISsimilar project for Imperial China developed by the universities of Harvard and Fudan, China.
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, one of the world's largest map collections, which has digitized and georeferenced a large part of its collection and published it on the internet.
Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative(ECAI) a clearinghouse for the exchange of metadata of Historical GIS. Maintained by the University of California, Berkeley.
HGIS GermanyInstitute of European History ( Mainz) and Institute i3mainz at the University of Applied Sciences [ [http://www.hgis-germany.ieg-mainz.de HGIS Germany] (in German)]
Belgian Historical GIStracks the development of administrative boundaries in Belgium since 1800. Developed by the University of Ghent[Web site for the [http://www.flwi.ugent.be/hisgis/start_en.htm Belgian Historical GIS] ]
National Historical Geographic Information System(NHGIS) system for displaying and analyzing Census tractsand tract changes in the US.
HistoAtlasis an open historical geographical information system that tries to build a free historical atlas of the world.
oftware or web services developed for Historical GIS
TimeMap— A Java open-source applet (or program) for browsing spatial-temporal data and ECAI data sets [ [http://www.timemap.net Project homepage] ] Developed by the department of archaeology University of Sydney.
* Version 4+ of
Google Earthadded a time line feature that enables simple temporal browsing of spatial data [Announcement of the feature [http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/09/google_earth_4_time.html at the Google Earth blog] ]
GIS in archaeology
Ian N. Gregory, Paul Ell: "Historical GIS: Technologies, Methodologies, and Scholarship" (Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography) 2008 ISBN: 978-0521671705
Anne Kelly Knowles: "Past Time, Past Place: GIS for history" A collection of twelve case studies on the use of GIS in historical research and education. ESRI press 2002 ISBN 1589480325
* Anne Kelly Knowles,
Amy Hilliereds.: "Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship" 2008 ISBN 978-1589480131
Ian N. Gregory: [http://hds.essex.ac.uk/g2gp/gis/index.asp "A place in History"] A short introduction to HGIS by the lead developers of GBHGIS ISSN 1463-5194
* Ott, T. and Swiaczny, F.: "Time-integrative GIS. Management and analysis of spatio-temporal data", 2001 Berlin / Heidelberg / New York: Springer ISBN 3540410163
* Feature edition of Historical GIS in the journal
Social Science History24 2000, Introduction by Anne Kelly Knowles.
* [http://www.his-gis.net/ Gateway for Historical Geographical-Information-Systems (GIS) in history, for Historical Cartography and for Historical Geography]
* [http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/HISTORY-GIS.html History-GIS Mailing List]
* [http://groups.google.com/group/hgis Historical Geographic Information Systems Online Forum on Google]
* [http://www.szady.prv.pl Geohistory - Historical GIS] (in Polish)
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