Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History, a new book just released by ESRI Press, brings the spatial and visual revelations of geographic information system (GIS) technology to the study of history. Chapters cover a range of topics, from the Greek and Roman eras to the Salem witch trials to the Dust Bowl of the early 20th century, written by a number of leading scholars in the United States and Great Britain. Each author explains, in lively, easily understandable language, how GIS helped reveal the past in new ways, re-creating Civil War battlefields, bringing ancient landscapes back to life, and re-examining long-held assumptions about historical events. All technical terms are defined in context and in the glossary. Each chapter is full of colour maps and diagrams made with GIS technology and showing various ways that GIS technology can serve history.
Not just for historians, Past Time, Past Place shows that historical GIS is a meeting ground for historians, geographers, geographic information scientists, and scholars in many other fields, from religion to sociology. Historical GIS provides the tools to combine those fields to study patterns of change at every scale of human activity.
Editor Anne Kelley Knowles is a historical geographer living in Washington, D.C. She has written about a variety of geographical and historical topics including geographical visualization, historical GIS, immigration, and the history of technology.