Post 11: Spatial Humanities

This week’s reading on The Spatial Humanities is already a little outdated (it was published 5 years ago, but the vision it presents still charts a pretty good course toward the goals of the GIS and humanities communities.  The authors make it clear, too, that GIS and cartography are not synonymous.

Chapter 8’s discussion of developing a semantic web is rather technically thick to the lay reader — Wikipedia’s page on the topic illustrates it a bit better.

The challenge is both technical and organizational. The taxonomy and ontology I created for this project required several months to design (granted, I was working alone).   It’s a frustrating process, because it always goes much more slowly than one thinks it should.  It’s much more frustrating, however, to just jump in and start compiling data because you will always have to go back and re-design the database and then re-vet already processed information.

I commented this week on Joshua, Dale, and Danielle’s blogs.


  1. I took another look at your project on networks, and I will ask someone at the center their opinion. I know Scalar can do the networking portion of the project but I have not seen it put onto a map. Likewise, I have seen much less sophisticated programs do similar things. You should check out Mapping the Republic of Letters: and
    It is an example of how complex relationship networks can become.

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