GIS and the City. The Use of GIS in Historical Research

Dieter Schott's picture
September 13, 2018 to September 14, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, Local History, Urban History / Studies

„GIS and the City”: the Use of GIS
in Historical Research
The general use of digital maps and mapping has increased dramatically over the last years. Parallel to this boom in mapping the diffusion of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) rose with the ubiquitous use of digital data, devices and the internet. Maps and map-based information are not only everyday companions on our cell-phones, weather and traffic maps, they also move more and more into the focus of the Humanities.
GIS seems particularly attractive for historical research with a strong spatial dimension such as Urban History. GIS has
been applied not only for visualizing patterns and structures which have already been analysed by ‘traditional’ methods, but also
for the process of building and developing hypotheses through the identification of spatial structures which are not so easily
discerned in narrative or tabular form.

This Workshop
An European-wide setting of interesting and different approaches in the use of GIS for historical questions and research is presented in this workshop. A “GIS Marketplace” will offer new ideas and projects from students and scholars working with GIS & History.
A concluding Round-Table discussion will present critical views on benefits and possible pitfalls of GIS in the Humanities.


13.30 Registration/Coffee
14.00 Welcome and Introduction
Welcome by the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences of TU Darmstadt, Prof. Jens Steffek
Dieter Schott: Expectations and perspectives for the workshop

„GIS and the City“
I. City – Hinterland – Environment
Chair: Gerrit Schenk, History Dep., TU Darmstadt

14.20 Step by step backwards in time: Revealing Vienna’s historical Danube river landscape by GIS
Severin Hohensinner (Vienna, Austria)

14.40 Jenseits der Mauer. Zur Raumstruktur frühneuzeitlicher städtischer Landwirtschaft [Beyond the walls:
On Spatial Structures of Early Modern Urban Agriculture]
Olaf März (Bremen, Germany)

15.00 Foodscape and the “spatial turn”: the GIS approach to sustainability
Nadia Fava/Marta Carrasco/ Romà Garrido (Girona, Spain)

15.20 Discussion
15.45 Coffee Break

II. City as a Social Web
Chair: Christian Hickel, Geodaetics Dep., TU Darmstadt

16.00 GIStorical Antwerp: travelling back in time with a socio-spatial reconstruction of Antwerp (1584 – 1984)
Iason Jongepier/Rogier van Kooten (Antwerp, Belgium)

16.20 GIS: advantages and pitfalls of a spatial correlations explorer tool. Reflections about two Parisian case studies
Léa Hermenault (Paris, France)

16.40 DA_GIS. Filling the voids in the recent history of Darmstadt
Wolfgang Moschek (Darmstadt, Germany)

17.00 Discussion
17.20 Coffee Break

III. City as a Social Web (2)
Chair: Sebastian Haumann, History Dep., Darmstadt
17.30 Villux X – Mapping the topographical change of the city of Luxembourg and its socio-economic structure
Simon Schneider (Luxemburg)

17.50 Social differentiation and spatial patterns in a multiethnic city in the 19th century
Gabor Demeter (Budapest, Hungary)

18.10 Discussion

18.45 Keynote: Reconstructing the Past: Mapping Edinburgh’s Social History
Richard Rodger (Edinburgh, Great Britain)

20.00 Conference Dinner

IV. GIS in Public History
Chair: Detlev Mares, History Dep., TU Darmstadt

9.00 ‚Unsichtbare Orte‘ [Invisible Places]: Exploring the city with co-creative strategies of education
Kathrin Schön (Frankfurt, Germany)

9.20 A map-based historical encyclopedia of Stuttgart
Katharina Ernst (Stuttgart, Germany)

9.40 Discussion
10.00 GIS Marketplace (Poster Presentations + Coffee Break)

V. ‚Brave New GIStory‘
Chair: Wolfgang Moschek, History Dep., TU Darmstadt

10.40 Digitising cadastral data: a source edition for GIS-based urban research in a European perspective
Daniel Stracke (Münster, Germany)

11.00 Historical GIS – What’s the point (x, y)?
Alexander von Luenen (Huddersfield, Great Britain)

11.20 Discussion
11.30 Round-Table: historical GIS and urban history: benefits and pitfalls
(Vadim Oswalt, Gießen; Sabine Bartsch, Darmstadt; Mirjana Ristic, Darmstadt; Germany)

12.30 Closing Remarks
12.40 Lunch Reception
14.00 (optional) GIS-assisted city tour of Darmstadt


Contact Info: 

Prof. Dieter Schott, History Department, TU Darmstadt, Landwehrstr. 50a, D-64293 Darmstadt