Spaces, places, features and units: web-enabling historical geography

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Although the UK research assessment system initially mainly prioritised traditional academic outputs, more recently it has also promoted non-academic impact and engagement, which historical geography research is well suited to achieving provided detailed local knowledge can be widely disseminated, only possible via the world wide web. However, this is best done not via online GIS (geographical information systems) but through geo-semantic systems, supporting web pages about named entities linked by explicit relationships. Although the resulting systems are in some senses gazetteers, they differ from most existing gazetteers by focusing not on landscape features but on administrative units defined in law, and on “places” which are defined through the study of place naming. The final section of the paper briefly describes the Great Britain historical GIS and the web site based on it, A Vision of Britain through Time, and then presents data on how it performs in placename-based Google searches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalStudia Geohistorica
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018


  • Gazetteers
  • geo-semantics
  • Historical GIS
  • impact and engagement
  • place versus space

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