Resources for October 10: Discussion questions, GIS, NEH grants

Questions for discussion

1. In the examples in Past Time, Past Place, how did using GIS change researchers’ interpretation of historical data or cultural resources ?

2. In what specific ways can GIS aid in interpretation of historic sites for the public?  What might be some liabilities of asking the public to use GIS or GPS as they try to understand a historic site?

3. GIS is often praised by historians as a way to make visible historical trends that otherwise might have been missed.  Are there ways that GIS might obfuscate instead of enlighten?

4. Imagine you were assigned to interpret the “urban renewal” of downtown Boise in the 1970s for a public audience.  Which approach is more interesting to your group: using GIS to recreate that pre-demolition landscape as a 3D visualization, or using GIS data layers to try to explain the causes and effects of this particular urban redevelopment?  Explain your answer.

GIS resources and inspiration for your group projects

National Historical Geographic Information System: “The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2010.”

What Historians Want from GIS

The New York City Historical GIS Project

Geographies of the Holocaust

Digital Humanities GIS Projects

NEH Digital Humanities grant project directors lightning talks

Round 1:

Round 2:


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