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By Peter Gasston
History and GIS
Edited by Alexander von Lünen and Charles Travis
While the use of GIS for economic and social history, historical geography, and particularly ancient history has become widespread, mainstream historians have made little use of the technology as a research tool. This collection of papers explores why this is the case. The editors posit that most historians are not convinced the intellectual benefit justifies the commitment needed to overcome the technological challenges. Contributors provide their answers to the question "why historians should use GIS", rather than discussing how to use GIS for historical research. Dr. Alexander von Lünen is a geography research fellow at the University of Portmouth, Hampshire, UK. Dr. Charles Travis received a doctorate in historical-cultural geography from Trinity College Dublin and is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Trinity Long Room Hub. Springer, 2013, 256 pp., ISBN:978-9400750081
On the Map: A Mind Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks
By Simon Garfield
Thanks to the digital revolution, we are living in the most transformative age of cartography. "More people use more maps than at any time in history," observed the author, Simon Garfield, in this exuberant and erudite book that outlines the history of our relationship with maps. This collection of stories about maps provide fascinating insights into the people who made them and the times in which they lived. They demonstrate how maps, once impressively large, expensive, and rare, have become small, inexpensive, and pervasive but remain vitally important for what they tell us about ourselves. "For when we gaze at a map—any map, in any format, from any era—we still find nothing so much as history and ourselves." Gotham, 2012, 464 pp., ISBN: 978-1592407798