• Crossing Boundaries: Using GIS in Literary Studies, History and Beyond

      Gregory, Ian; Baron, Alistair; Cooper, David; Hardie, Andrew; Murrieta-Flores, Patricia; Rayson, Paul; Lancaster University; Lancaster University; MMU; Lancaster University; University of Chester; Lancaster University (Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, 2014-09-05)
      Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have become widely accepted in historical research and there are increasing calls for them to be used more widely in humanities disciplines. The difficulty is, however, that GIS comes from a quantitative, social science paradigm that is frequently not well suited to the kinds of sources that are widely used in the humanities. The challenge for GIS, if it is to become a widely used tool within the humanities, is thus two-fold. First, approaches need to be developed that allow humanities sources to be exploited within a data model that is usable by GIS. Second, and more importantly, researchers need to demonstrate that by adopting GIS they can make significant new and substantive contributions to knowledge across humanities disciplines. This paper explores both of these questions focussing primarily on examples from literary studies, in the form of representations of the English Lake District and history, looking at nineteenth century public health reports.