Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System (GBHGIS)

A Vision of Britain Through Time

Much of our data is freely available on-line to everyone as part of a separate website called A Vision of Britain Through Time.  This website presents the history of Great Britain through places between 1801 and 2001. It includes maps, statistical trends, a gazetteer of British administrative units, on-line versions of a selection of tables and early printed text from some of the published Census Reports as well as historical descriptions of places and journeys. The site is free to use and does not require any registration. Please note, it does not identify individual people, buildings or addresses, but it does put historical places into context and gives an indication of how life in England, Scotland and Wales has changed since 1801.

The original construction of this public web site was made possible by a major grant worth £3/4m. from the Big Lottery Fund, a distributor of funds from the UK National Lottery. It took a specialised team three years to create and was launched in October 2004. The Vision of Britain site was built through a collaboration between the Great Britain Historical GIS team at the University of Portsmouth together with the Centre for Computational Geography at the University of Leeds and the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at the Queen's University of Belfast. Our usage figures have been steadily rising ever since the launch, probably aided by the periodic updating of the site to incorporate new work we have done.

The site was re-launched in July 2009 thanks to a large grant from the Joint Information Systems Committee as part of a £22m digitisation programme being managed by JISC with funding from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England). It incoporates a new look and feel and major modifications to the contents including; substantial additions to the historic map library, the incorporation of two new map viewers and a map categloue system, Parliamentary boundaries and election results from General and By-elections back to 1832 and a new Learning Resources area providing guidence on how to use the web-site, where the information behind it comes from and how it is used.

A Vision of Britain Through Time website: www.visionofbritain.org.uk

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