Historical Geographic Information Systems

Know History uses historic geographic information systems (GIS) technology to map data from hundreds of historical records and mapping interviews, showing thousands of connections between people, places and events in a single image. In addition to presenting complex data clearly, GIS allows us to add layers of information to the maps, such as changing political boundaries or geographical features.

Powerful databases and data visualizations

These powerful maps can contain thousands – or hundreds of thousands – of data points. Our customized databases safely store this information and enable researchers to pull specific data to answer an array of questions. For example, GIS technology can be used to analyze the social networks that existed between historical groups or to examine how settlement patterns shifted after particular political decisions. Our databases and data visualizations are customized to meet the needs of individual client and project.

Building interactive maps of a community’s memories
We can also use GIS technology to explore the shared experiences of communities. Stories and memories gleaned from oral history interviews as well as traditional knowledge and land use studies can be transcribed onto maps showing the favourite hangouts of teenagers in the 1950s or rapid growth of urban neighborhoods. Know History can also create interactive digital maps, which allow visitors to add their own stories or memories to maps of their communities. Additionally, GIS technology can be used to create interactive digital walking tours that allow users to explore the historic roots of their present-day communities.

Services Provided

  • Mapping of historic records, persons and events
  • Interactive map preparation
  • Base map preparation
  • Cultural resource mapping
  • Georeferencing and digitizing of historic maps
  • Relief maps
  • Walking tours

Image Credit: Canada Department of Manpower and Immigration / Library and Archives Canada / e010982334.