Geographical information systems (GIS) and computational approaches to old and sometimes forgotten datasets have radically transformed our ability to learn about the past. Census records, gazetteers, historical maps, and other sources of legacy data can be transformed into digital datasets that, combined with other spatial data are revealing past worlds. Recent years have seen an explosion in GIS tools and open datasets, but many of the most innovative methods are trapped in disciplinary silos – severely limiting their potential to generate new knowledge. In Cambridge, innovative geospatial work is being carried out in geography, history, archaeology, anthropology, architecture and urban studies, but there is currently no forum to exchange and present results and methodologies. We seek to change that through the development of the Exploring Past Landscapes Over Time (ExPLOT) network, an interdisciplinary group of scholars who are exploring past landscapes using a range of digital and computational tools to research the geographies and histories of times past. This is the first research seminar of a series taking place throughout the year.
The ExPLOT network aims to gather historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, geographers, economists, and researchers in other disciplines to present a range of spatial approaches to the past. The speakers are: - Toby C Wilkinson (Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Junior Research Fellow, Churchill College) - Oliver Dunn (Research Associate, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and Research Fellow, Cambridge Digital Humanities).
Further information for future seminars and events that are planned can be found on the ExPLOT webpage.