Tuesday, January 08, 2008

ESRI Press book on Mapping

Placing History, a Book and CD-ROM from ESRI Press, Shows How Geospatial Technology Helps Historians Analyze the Past8 January 2008

Redlands, California—Did poor farming practices cause the Dust Bowl in the 1930s? Was yeoman farming in colonial Concord, Massachusetts, environmentally unsound? What could Confederate general Robert E. Lee see at Gettysburg from where he stood?

Historians and history students can consider these intriguing questions and others using geographic information system (GIS) technology, said Anne Kelly Knowles, editor of Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship.

The book contains five essays that cover issues such as the advantages and challenges of using GIS to study history; why it’s important to apply spatial statistics when working with GIS; and how future historical research may be supported through the use of object-oriented databases, which better handle information related to time and space.

Five scholars describe in case studies how they’re using GIS to study different aspects of history such as the 1930s Dust Bowl in the American Great Plains, the Civil War battle of Gettysburg in 1863, China from 222 B.C. to 1911 A.D., and even colonial New England husbandry. The book comes with a CD-ROM to help introduce students to GIS in historical scholarship and includes PowerPoint presentations, videos, GIS projects, and map layers. The book also includes GIS software, ArcExplorer—Java Edition for Education, which can be used in conjunction with the GIS projects.

Placing History aims to inspire professors, students, and professionals in history-related fields to think geographically about the past and to imagine how GIS might help them pursue interesting questions.

Source : http://www.esri.com/esripress


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