Mainstream geographical information systems techniques and packaged geographical information systems software are often inappropriate in historical contexts because they use geographical coordinates as a framework around which all other information is organized as “attribute data,” whereas in history locations are often the least certain part of our knowledge. A new and general architecture for documenting administrative units and organizing historical statistics is detailed, which prioritizes named entities and explicit semantic relationships such as “IsPartOf,” while holding coordinate data where available. This architecture is easily aligned with the recent development of geo-semantics by information scientists, meeting the formal requirements for a geo-spatial ontology, but was originally developed to enable the systematic computerization of traditional historical reference works, notably Frederick Youngs’ Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England.
|Number of pages
|Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History
|Published - 16 Jul 2012