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Geographical Information and historical research: Current progress and future directions.

Gregory, Ian N. and Kemp, K. and Mostern, R. (2003) Geographical Information and historical research: Current progress and future directions. History and Computing, 13. pp. 7-21. ISSN 0957-0144

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Abstract

To a greater or lesser extent, all historians make use of geographical information. This means that there is clearly a large potential for the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the discipline. GIS has its origins in the earth sciences and its approach and the way that it models the world is based on the traditions and requirements of these subjects. This means that while there are many advantages to using GIS in historical research, its use must be implemented with caution, based on the limitations of the data and the traditions of historical scholarship. In this paper we define GIS and explain why it is relevant to historical research. We then use a wide variety of examples to illustrate the ways in which historians have used GIS. Finally, we discuss how GIS needs to be improved to make it more applicable to historical research. Our aim is to demonstrate that GIS, if properly used, is not only applicable to the more quantitative, scientific historical paradigms, but is equally appropriate in the more humanities-driven, qualitative areas of the discipline.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: History and Computing
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > C Auxiliary sciences of history (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > History
ID Code: 19854
Deposited By: Dr Ian Gregory
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2008 10:22
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:35
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/19854

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