Lunch Meeting: The Use and Abuse of Spatial Analysis in Historical Research

The next GISSIG lunch meeting will be Monday, March 9 at the Humanities Center.

The Use and Abuse of Spatial Analysis in Historical Research

Yair Mintzker

Ph.D. Candidate, History Department

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center

 

Recent technological advances such as GIS software and google earth offer historians new, exciting ways for gathering and analyzing spatial data about the past.  But especially for historians, “spatial analysis” could also be misleading, and cover up, rather than help to dis-cover, fundamental aspects of the period and people they study.

 

Drawing on an extensive use of GIS software in his dissertation on European urban history as well as on his work on the conceptual history of space, Yair’s talk will shed light on these two fundamental aspects of spatial analysis: when and how is it useful for historical research, and when and how could it be harmful in advancing the historian’s objectives.

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