Railways, and their associated industrial archaeology, are an area of immense fascination to me as I began my working career as a railwayman at the age of 16. Consequently, I must be one of very few academics who have used much of the 19th century railway technology in a real world context as part of a national railway system. After the railway, I worked on the maritime archaeological project to excavate and recover the remains of Henry VIII's warship Mary Rose and subsequently, as an academic geographer specialising in the application of GIS technology to archaeological and historical studies. This unusual combination of career experience has provided considerable insight into the complexity of data, which arises from both archaeological and historical study within a spatial, geographical context. This paper considers some of the potential range of data which may be held within a GIS and offers some suggestions for innovative approaches for the utilisation of such data within historical, archaeological, cultural and railway projects. GIS technology is considered as an enabling technology which can assist researchers by providing an exploratory "tool for thought".
|Title of host publication||Railroads in historical context: construction, costs and consequences|
|Editors||A. McCants, E. Beira, J. Lopes Cordeiro, P. Lourenco|
|Place of Publication||Foz Tua, Portugal|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|