GIS and Other Mapping Tools

Dickinson’s Geographic Information Systems Lab offers courses in GIS and actively collaborates with faculty, staff, and students all around the College. Dickinson faculty pursuing digital projects with a geo-spatial component should make sure to consult with staff at the GIS lab.

Some of the central issues and questions involved in the application of digital mapping to the humanities are articulated and explored in  Visualizing Geography: Maps, Place, and Pedagogy, a forum hosted by three HASTAC scholars. The potential of GIS for a wide variety of types of humanities scholarship is explored (with lots of examples) by William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., “GIS for for Language and Literary Study,”  in Kenneth M. Price and Ray Siemens, eds., Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology (MLA Commons).

GIS is far from the only tool available, however, and not the easiest one to use. Thanks for the following collection of links are due to Jeffrey McKlurken of the University of Mary Washington.

Geography and geospatial visualization tools

Google Maps is a Web-based resource —

Google Earth — software downloaded to your computer, but requires internet access to download maps —

MapLib — Host created maps on your own server

NeatLine — Set of add on tools for Omeka that allow presentations using maps, images, and texts


QGIS– Open-Source GIS system–provides data viewing and analysis capabilities:

Other map-based tools

Visual Eyes — create dynamic visualizations from images, documents, maps

HistoryPin —

MapStory — Build your own map-based narratives.


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