Spatial Humanities: Step by Step GIS Instructions

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The Spatial Humanities site has a growing list of step by step instructions on how to create and work with GIS data using such spatial technologies as ArcGIS, HyperCities, Google’s Fusion Tables, and Google Maps.

The latest set of instructions provides downloadable sample files to run the user through heads up digitizing in order to create GIS data from historical maps.  The tutorial shows the user how to load in a geoferenced image file of a historical map, create spatial databases, create features, and  add attributes.

Previous tutorials include an interesting two-part exercise in extracting geographic information from web-based datasources by cleaning an Wikileaks Afghan War Diary which is then mapped through Google’s Fusion Tables, and creating a project in HyperCities using Google My Maps.

Hosted by the University of Virginia Library’s Scholars’ Lab, the Spatial Humanities site was developed from a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant into a site to introduce spatial tools to those interested in the humanities.  In addition to the tutorials, the site functions as a hub for promoting best practices, links to interesting mapping projects, and a Q&A section for promoting discussions about new geospatial projects.


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