“The Spatial History Project at Stanford University a part of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, is made possible by the generous funding of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“The project brings together scholars working on projects at the intersection of geography and history using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their research. While enthusiastic about GIS, which offers a common framework for this research, the Spatial History Project is gearing up to move beyond GIS, to create tools to harvest useful information from large heterogeneous datasets of maps, images, and texts, and create dynamic, interactive digital visualizations for analyzing and representing change over space and time.
“The primary research projects within the Spatial History Project include:
- How the West Was Shaped — Richard White’s project is developing a large database and computer graphics tools to study and represent visually how people’s experience of space and time was dramatically shaped by railroads in the North American West in the 19th century.
- Terrain of History — Zephyr Frank’s collaboration with colleagues with colleagues at Brown University and the Cecult team at UNICAMP, Brazil has been supported by the Stanford Humanities Center.
- Critical Habitat — Jon Christensen’s research grew out of his work with an interdisciplinary team supported by the Woods Institute for the Environment to study the feasibility of reintroducing the Bay checkerspot butterfly to the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where it went extinct locally in 1997.