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Dr Alastair Pearson

Principal Lecturer



I graduated from the University of Leeds in 1982 and completed a postgraduate Diploma in Cartography at the University College of Swansea in 1983. I then joined the staff at Portsmouth as Map Librarian and became Head of the Geographical Information Services Unit in 1987 before my appointment as lecturer in 1991. I was awarded my PhD in 1996 and was made Principal Lecturer in 1997.

Research Interests

My recent research has concentrated on the history of cartography in the twentieth century, particularly international mapping. I have contributed to the Exploratory Essays Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation of America on the history of cartography in the twentieth century. I am a major contributor to Volume VI of the History of Cartography edited by Mark Monmonier which is to be published by University of Chicago Press in 2014.

I am currently working with Martin Schaefer on the application of non-contact 3D laser scanning techniques to capture and assess the accuracy of solid terrain models and evaluate the potential for using such techniques for archiving cultural heritage.

I maintain a strong research interest in the application of GIS to the study of past agricultural landscapes from the west coast of Pembrokeshire to the flat Fenlands of Cambridgeshire. I have published and presented several papers on the application of GIS to the study of agricultural productivity in the nineteenth century using multilevel modelling techniques. I am currently working on the tithe surveys of West Sussex in collaboration with West Sussex County Record Office.

I am also currently working with Professor Mike Heffernan of University of Nottingham on the historical geographies of internationalism, 1900s-1970s. This research aims to engage with the international as a concept but particularly new forms of cartography during the twentieth century.

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