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GIS library services: GIS and History

Useful Resources

U Sask Historical GIS Lab

Saskatchewan History Online: digital collection of Saskatchewan historical and cultural resources. 

A Place in History: A guide to using GIS in Historical Research.

Historical GIS Clearinghouse and Forum: The Association of American Geographers' central reference point for scholars looking to apply geographic technologies to historical research. The website includes training, maps, and news related to GIS and history.

Map Collections

China Historical GIS: This project was launched in 2001 to establish a database of populated places and historical units for the period of Chinese history between 221 BCE and 1911 CE. Researchers can use this GIS platform for spatial analysis, modeling and representation.

David Rumsey Map Collection: Over 29,000 maps and images online, primarily rare 18th and 19th century North and South American maps.

Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System: This digital collection displays information about Britain's localities as they have changed over time.

HGIS Germany: historical maps of Germany

Historical Maps of Canada: From Canadian Geographic, view maps between 1700-1999 of Canada.

Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Confederation, maps 1667-1999

National Historical Geographic Information System (USA): download historical census information along with GIS compatible boundary files for the USA between 1790-2010.

Interactive Maps

ESRI's Arc Explorer Online offers several historical maps, such as:

- Canada's Historical Railways ( Web Lesson)

- Map of France by Cassini

- UNESCO World Heritage Sites on National Geographic Basemap

- Geo-Genealogy of Irish Surnames

* There are many more online via Esri Explorer Online, simply type what you are looking for into the search box.

Feature Map

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

GIS and History

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help historians visualize events from the past, show changes over time and can be used as an educational tool to teach history. New technology has opened GIS up to everyone, with several easy to use software and online products. This libguide will offer resources for anyone interested in history and GIS.