GISSIG Lunch Meeting Mar 18: Geodatabases for historical research

Elijah Meeks, Digital Humanities Specialist, Stanford Academic Computing: “Geodatabases for historical research”

Databases used to track historical political geography require a more nuanced representation of place than that found in traditional geodatabases. Not only do they need to record ambiguous geo-locations and change over time, but also the possibly complete reformulation of a historical place such that it might have a different name, jurisdiction, area or even location (or even a lack of existence in the case of temporary abolition) while maintaining some kind of continuous conceptual identity.  The creation of a new digital gazetteer for use by the Mapping the Republic of Letters project builds on lessons learned in the creation of the Digital Gazetteer of the Song Dynasty (the release notes of which are attached).  This new gazetteer allows for the representation of change over time as well as tracking not only the physical location of an entity but also its existence within any of a set of containers, allowing for the implementation of what is known as a tripartite model of space, which creates a suitable dataset not only for traditional historical GIS but also for other spatial but not necessarily physical questions to be addressed.

WHEN: Thursday, March 18 at noon  (Bring your lunch. We will provide coffee, tea, and chocolate.)
WHERE: Humanities Center, Board Room

Leave a Reply