Session on use of historical maps in GIS

This is my first THATCamp so I’m not too sure about how play, teach, and make sessions work. Pretty sure I don’t want a talk session, though. In any case, I’m excited to find out more about how THATCamp works and meet y’all.

I’m starting a project using land surveys from the eighteenth century and want to explore and learn more about how other people are using such historical maps in geographic information systems and web mapping, anything from georeferencing to text and feature extraction to the many things that I’m sure that I’m entirely unaware of. I’m currently using QGIS and not bothering with ArcGIS anymore, but I’m also interested in web apps like Google Maps, Palladio, and so on.

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About Andrew Sluyter

Andrew Sluyter received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and currently teaches at LSU. His major interests involve the environmental history and historical ecology of the colonization of the Americas, and he has made various contributions to the theorization of colonialism and landscape, the critique of neo-environmental determinism, the understanding of pre-colonial and colonial agriculture and environmental change in Mexico, and to revealing African contributions to the establishment of cattle ranching in Louisiana, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Previous publications include dozens of journal articles as well as the books Colonialism and Landscape, published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2003, and Black Ranching Frontiers, published by Yale University Press in 2012. A new book on the Hispanics and Latinos of New Orleans will come out in September 2015 with LSU Press.

7 Responses to Session on use of historical maps in GIS

  1. Thank you for your post Andrew. GIS will be a key topic for the conference. I think my colleague Hilton Cordoba can have an introductory session about GIS (the basics uses, tools, limits….). Jason Theriot (who can only make it on Thursday) is also using GIS for Environmental History, I think we could have another great session on Thursday morning (also the morning is supposed to be more about workshops). We could also have a session on Wednesday afternoon about open access GIS tools. I started using Mapwindow, you know about QGIS, others will help.

  2. Jim Coby says:

    I’d be interested in attending this session. As a southern literature scholar, I often find myself using maps in the classroom to help students understand the fluidity of geographic boundaries, particularly how they have shaped notions of “regional” literatures.

  3. Jason Theriot says:

    Andrew et al, I am interested in a workshop on the basics of GIS and other mapping platforms for my research on historical oil and gas fields in Louisiana. At this moment, my only window to attend is Thursday morning.
    Jason Theriot

  4. I am interested in seeing what others are discovering about the rapidly moving frontier of GIS on the Web. To me, the most interesting aspect of GIS these days is that it has moved onto the web, allowing new ways of thinking about scholarship, teaching, and collaboration. There seem to be various models emerging, from good old Google Maps, which has a low-level free version, to MapStory, which is free but still rough and hopes to become the Wikipedia of web maps, to ArcGIS Online, which is sophisticated but costs so much and is so corporate that it contradicts the sort of openness I find appealing about the digital humanities. But the number of options is proliferating so rapidly, and each is changing all the time (as cloud apps like Google Maps can, often in major ways without much advance notice) that it’s difficult for any one person to keep up. Within all that, I am most interested in ways of using historical maps, a particular issue given the focus of Google Maps, MapStory, and others on vector rather than raster sources.

  5. Great stuff. I think we will be able to have three sessions on GIS. Hilton Cordoba may have an opening session Wednesday to introduce campers to GIS. Then, we could have a session on tools in the afternoon. Jason, we can have a session Thursday morning on more technical aspects of using GIS software.

  6. Looking forward to this interesting session! I hope you are able to join in the “Intro to GIS” session I recently proposed.

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