Invitation to Mapping: How GIS Can Facilitate New Discoveries in Urban and Planning History

Amy Hillier
2010 Journal of Planning History  
Urban and planning historians frequently focus on inherently spatial topics such as migration, segregation, gentrification, and suburbanization and rely on historical maps as primary sources, but they rarely use geographic information systems (GIS) as a research method for analyzing spatial patterns. This article considers the reasons that GIS is not used more, including longstanding ambivalence about quantitative methods and limited training opportunities. It then outlines ways in which GIS
more » ... uniquely inform historical research-by emphasizing underlying spatial processes, making spatial patterns visible, and transforming mapping into a process-in ways that can refine and challenge existing urban historical narratives. Finally, recommendations for overcoming existing barriers to historical GIS are presented.
doi:10.1177/1538513210366964 fatcat:is55r3lyxvesfjquasy5ocedtu