Articles | Volume 3
11 Jun 2022
 | 11 Jun 2022

The Intersection between GIScience and History: an Overview of an Emerging Scientific Field

Hannah Meyer and Johannes Scholz

Keywords: GIS, history, digital humanities, historical GIS, literature review

Abstract. Using the methods of Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) to analyze historical data has been of increasing interest to the scientific community of History in the last two decades. The spatial turn in the Humanities fueled this development and lead to a number of scientific initiatives that utilized GIS&T to store, analyze and visualize historical data accordingly. This article, documenting ongoing work, outlines the scientific developments, main research foci, and past and current research interests of the emerging field of historical GIS from the beginning of the spatial turn in the social sciences to the present day. The article is using a literature review in the fields of Geographic Information Science and History as core methodology. Our main findings are centered around the fact that historical GIS research is spread out over a variety of disciplines and journals. Hence, building a methodological and theoretical core, and forming cohesion in the field has been challenging. Current research trends underpin this trend. Nevertheless, a number of promising research initiatives are pursued at the intersection of GIS&T and History – which documents an intensification of the collaboration between both fields.