We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > National historical Geographical Information Sy...
View graph of relations

« Back

National historical Geographical Information Systems as a tool for historical research : population and railways in Wales, 1841-1911.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date10/2009
JournalInternational Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing
Number of pages20
Original languageEnglish


Historical GIS is now a well established part of the discipline of history. One of the early drivers of historical GIS was the development, in a number of countries, of national historical GISs. These are systems that usually hold all of a country’s census and related statistics through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As such they have the potential to represent an extremely valuable resource, but at the same time they were and remain extremely expensive and time consuming to build. The poses the question, therefore of whether such investment was justified. This paper takes one of these systems, the Great Britain Historical GIS, and explores how it was built, what methodologies then needed to be developed to exploit the data that it contains properly, and finally gives an example of one analysis that it allows that would simply not be possible without this large-scale investment of resources. The example focuses on the impact of the development of the railways in Wales before the First World War.