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Geographical information systems as a tool for exploring the spatial humanities

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date2016
Host publicationDoing Digital Humanities: Practice, Training, Research
EditorsConstance Crompton, Richard J. Lane, Ray Siemens
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317481133
ISBN (Print)9781138899445, 9781138899438
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This is not to say that the new world of spatial humanities is problem free. As will be discussed in more detail below, there are a number of problems remaining, including the time that it takes to create a GIS database, the complexity of GIS software, and issues around the fact that GIS was developed to handle quantitative sources in the Earth and social sciences using very different paradigms from those found in the humanities. Nevertheless, we are at a point where these technologies will allow early adopters to create a step change in the way that location is explored in the humanities, which, in turn, will lead to new understanding about geographical knowledge across the full range of disciplines that make up the humanities. This chapter introduces GIS as a tool for research within the humanities; a range of other publications are available for readers who are interested in the approaches that it offers to the field or case study examples of how humanities researchers are applying the technology.