GIS in the Digital Humanities

Spatial Humanities at Lancaster

Spatial Humanities at Lancaster

The good folks from the Spatial Humanities Project based at Lancaster University are running a free one day seminar in November. This is only part of their outreach activities which also feature an informative YouTube channel and other learning resources.

The seminar is described as follows:

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are becoming increasingly used by historians, archaeologists, literary scholars, classicists and others with an interest in humanities geographies. Take-up has been hampered by a lack of understanding of what GIS is and what it has to offer to these disciplines. This free workshop, sponsored by the European Research Council’s Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS, Places project and hosted by Lancaster University, will provide a basic introduction to GIS both as an approach to academic study and as a technology. Its key aims are: To establish why the use of GIS is important to the humanities; to stress the key abilities offered by GIS, particularly the capacity to integrate, analyse and visualise a wide range of data from many different types of sources; to show the pitfalls associated with GIS and thus encourage a more informed and subtle understanding of the technology; and, to provide a basic overview of GIS software and data.

This is another great opportunity (also check out the OUDCE event) to find out a bit more about how GIS can help your research.

I can heartily recommend the GIS experts at Lancaster. Archaeology is a small world and spatial technologies within archaeology is an even smaller world. Ian Gregory was a contributor, alongside myself and other esteemed colleagues, to the AHRC Expert Seminar on History and Archaeology: Virtual History and Archaeology, contributing a paper entitled Using geographical information systems to explore space and time in the humanities to the published volume (Greengrass & Hughes, 2008). Paty Murrieta-Flores is another Southampton ACRG graduate, like myself, whose research interests are incredibly interesting (ok, yes, we both like movement through prehistoric landscapes, we just take different approaches to our investigations) and has built up considerable expertise relating to spatial analysis through her doctorate.

And of course, if you’re interested in some bespoke training for yourself or your organisation, do contact the Geomatics Team at Wessex Archaeology.