Department of Geography

Historical Geography and Spatial Analysis

Members of this group undertake research within these themes

Data Warehousing, Big Data and Spatial Analytics

Analysis of Twitter Feeds and the US Presidential Campaign 2012

This study uses database and data-mining techniques to analyse ~1.7m sampled social media interactions recorded on Twitter around the time of the 2012 US Presidential Election, comparing those who geo-tag their twitter feeds with those who do not. 

Gazetteers and Geosemantics – the Pelagios 3 Project 

The aim of the Pelagios 3 is to use a geosemantic approach to annotate, link and index place references in digitised Early Geospatial Documents - documents that use written or visual representation to describe geographic space prior to 1492.

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Railroads and the Making of Modern America : Digging into Data Challenge Project 

This project uses a variety of spatio-temporal visualisation techniques to examine the role of railroad network expansion in relation to a number of important 19th century themes, including slavery, population mobility during the Civil War, African-American Emancipation and the growth of the Eastern Trunk Lines. 

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United States 1880 Census Data Warehouse 

A very large data warehouse has been built using a modified version of the coded individual records of the 1880 population census, it currently contains nearly half a billion data items pertaining to the male population of several north-eastern states.

History of Cartography

The University of Chicago Press History of Cartography Project

We are contributing information on technical aspects of map-making, developments in the depiction and modelling of relief, and the role of key individuals in the development of cartography to Volumes 5 and 6 of this multi-volume international project. 

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The International Map of the World

This project examines the genesis and development of the International Map of the World and its relationships with the IGU and the American Geographical Society. 

Tudor Mapping and Tudor Paintings

GIS methods are being used to examine the accuracy of the representation of landscape settings in two paintings from the era of Henry VIII, “The King’s Departure from Dover” and “The Field of the Cloth of Gold”. 

Historic Maps Online Project

This project aims to draw together large collections of digitised versions of major historic maps both for academic study and for general reference by members of the public.

Checklist of Hampshire Maps 
Old Hampshire Gazetteer 
Old Hampshire Mapped 
Old Sussex Mapped 

Historical Census Analysis

A New Occupational Coding System for 19th Century Heavy Industrial Workers 

This project has developed a new coding system that works within a data warehouse environment to facilitate accurate recoding of US 1880 census records, with particular reference to the occupational coding of heavy industrial workers.

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Data Quality in 19th Century US Manufacturing Censuses

Work is now in progress on case studies of northern industrial cities to assess the pervasiveness of under-reporting and selective enumeration in manuscript census schedules and printed tabulations for the manufacturing censuses, 1860-1880. 

Gentrification in New York

Demographic and socio-economic analysis of Manhattan housing from 1980 to 2010 using census tract data and field survey is challenging accepted models of gentrification, suggesting that actual socio-economic change was limited.

Historical Geography of Immigration, Migration and Employment Change

Data Models for Actor-Networks in Historical GIS: Workers and Localities in the 19th century. 

The main aim of the project is to relate data on individuals, for example as recorded in a database of members of the 19th Steam Engine Makers’ Union , to wider contexts, such as those recorded in the Great Britain Historical GIS. 

Migration, Economic Opportunity and the Railroads: Movement of Heavy Industrial Workers in the North-East USA 1850-1900 

This pilot investigation aims to examine the problem of tracing the internal migration of heavy industrial workers within and between industrial centres in the NE USA and between industrial sectors (e.g. railroads and iron and steel). 

Occupational Structure and Worker Mobility in the Northern Anthracite Coalfield during the Civil War

This study is based on analysis of surviving payroll records for the Civil War Era from anthracite mines in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area of the Northern Anthracite Coalfield of Pennsylvania. 

Themes in Regional Economic Development

Regional Dynamics in the Medieval Economic Landscape

This investigation combines a range of digital datasets to compare the relative wealth of civil and ecclesiastical areas spatially and temporally, with a particular regional focus on East Anglia.

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Railroads and the Emergence of the American Manufacturing Belt

This project uses a wide range of archival and printed sources in conjunction with the GIS of the railroad network in the NE USA, to re-evaluate the conflicting hypotheses for the emergence of the American Manufacturing Belt proposed by geographers and economists since De Geer’s classic study in the 1920s. 


Post-War Economic Development in Eastern Europe 

The focus of work in this area is on issues in regional economic development and adjustment in Central and Eastern Europe, especially following the end of the Communist Era. 

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Land Use and Environmental Change

The Tithe Survey of England and Wales

This research codes parish maps to common standards and converts them into GIS format for comparative purposes.

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Long Run Land Use Change

This research combines data from a variety of sources to examine long run trends in landscape use, and has created a website demonstrator to show the kinds of data integration that are possible.

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Public Historical Geography

A Vision of Britain through Time 

The Vision of Britain site presents a wealth of structured data about places between 1801 and 2001 using maps, statistical trends, historical descriptions and early Census text. 

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Old Maps Online 

This unique project has created an international ‘union catalogue’ of digital historic maps hosted by a variety of major institutions and collections across the globe. 

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Bomb Sight 

The Bomb Sight project provides interactive mapping of the locations of bombs dropped during the London blitz of 1940-1, both on the web and via an Android app. 

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E-books and E-resources on US 19th Century Industrial Development 

This project provides infrastructure for the provision of database-driven web resources that have minimalist, low-cost interfaces, yet can be updated dynamically with additional images, text or research data. 

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Railroad GIS of the NE United States 1828-1900 

This research creates major railroad GIS datasets for several US states and major trunk line systems, including the Baltimore and Ohio, the Erie and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Historical Military Geography

The Cowdray Engraving and the Battle of the Solent 1545

Pioneering use of GIS in conjunction with the Cowdray Engraving depicting both the deployment of troops on land and vessels at sea, has enabled new reconstruction of the geography of the Battle of the Solent in 1545, during which the Henry VIII’s vice flagship the Mary Rose was sunk. 

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The Mary Rose Trust and Museum Project

Research on the Battle of the Solent has led to close involvement with the Mary Rose Trust and the new museum in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which opened in the summer of 2013. 

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GIS-based Reconstruction of Historic Military Encounters

GIS technology is being used to re-examine the Battle of Waterloo, in preparation for the bicentenary in 2015, and the WWII Luftwaffe Blitz on Portsmouth in which nearly 20% of the city’s housing stock was damaged or destroyed in a single night.