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The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship [Paperback]

David J. Bodenhamer , John Corrigan , Trevor M. Harris

Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2010 The Spatial Humanities
Geographic information systems (GIS) have spurred a renewed interest in the influence of geographical space on human behavior and cultural development. Ideally GIS enables humanities scholars to discover relationships of memory, artifact, and experience that exist in a particular place and across time. Although successfully used by other disciplines, efforts by humanists to apply GIS and the spatial analytic method in their studies have been limited and halting. The Spatial Humanities aims to re-orient, and perhaps revolutionize, humanities scholarship by critically engaging the technology and specifically directing it to the subject matter of the humanities. This book explores the potential of spatial methods such as text-based geographical analysis, multimedia GIS, animated maps, deep contingency, deep mapping, and the geo-spatial semantic web to re-orient humanities scholarship. It also grapples with the need to create a language that bridges disciplines, how to re-conceptualize the humanities to include the spatial perspective, how to use GIS to analyze text and images, and suggests approaches that will prompt a long-needed reintegration of geography into the humanities.

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"An exciting and useful collection that offers great potential to shape the humanities. In many important ways the volume succeeds in showing how spatial analysis might be essential for humanities scholarship and more specifically what some of the possibilities might be." Will Thomas, University of Nebraska

About the Author

David J. Bodenhamer is Executive Director of the Polis Center and Professor of History at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. John Corrigan is Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of History at Florida State University. Trevor M. Harris is Eberly Professor of Geography and Chair of the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Taking GIS in new directions 20 Dec 2010
By Paul A. Baker - Published on
This book proposes the development of a spatial humanities that would revitalize and redefine scholarship by (re)introducing geographic concepts of space to the humanities. The power of GIS for the humanities, the editors propose, lies in its ability to integrate varied kinds of information from a common location, regardless of format, and to visualize the results in combinations of transparent layers on a map of the geography shared by the data. The authors propose taking what GIS offers in the way of tools, while urging new agendas upon GIS that will shape it for richer collaborative engagements with humanities disciplines. For example, the chapter, "The potential of spatial humanities" discusses how one researcher used GIS to rebut the standard Dust Bowl narrative that blamed farmers in Oklahoma and Kansas in the 1920s and 30s for using ruinous, ecologically insensitive agricultural practices, thus turning a pristine prairie into wasteland. It also illustrates how another researcher re-mapped Europe from AD 300 to 900 to show the connection between developments in communication and transportation that scholars previously had studied in isolation. The editors conclude with a discussion of six themes that mark the nascent field of spatial humanities.
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