Workshop 'Finding the Way through Historical Data. The use of GIS on historical databases'

On 25 and 26 June 2018, in Lisbon, the workshop 'Finding the Way through Historical Data. The use of GIS on historical databases' will take place.

Workshop 'Finding the Way through Historical Data. The use of GIS on historical databases'

During the last decade, the field of Digital Humanities has grown, with multiple projects seeing the light of day and more in the pipeline. The use of digital tools in humanities and social sciences is becoming the norm for both younger and senior researchers. It is a field with wide-open opportunities to be explored and where multidisciplinary research comes naturally. The full potentialities of Digital Humanities comes, however, with a cost. The more elaborate the outcome, the more complexity it implies in choosing the tools and in defining the methodology.

GIS tools used for historical research are exemplar, as dealing with the interaction between space and time is challenging. Changes in landscape (streets disappear, new buildings are built, etc.), and in the administrative layers (names of streets, house numbers, international and administrative borders) create difficulties to track entities over time and space. These are well known problems to historians and longitudinal database managers that wish to incorporate the geographic context provided by historical sources. To tackle this challenge researchers from historical demography, economic and social history, epidemiology and related fields developed different approaches and levels of analysis.

This workshop intents to create a place of discussion and promotion of ideas, presentation of past experiences and guidelines for future research projects that combine spatial and historical analysis. We invite all researchers, data managers and students to participate in this discussion and bring new ideas, problems and possible solutions. At the end, a feedback session will take place where early stage researchers can present their ideas and get some help and comments to improve their projects.  

For more information, see the leaflet.

Admission to the workshop is free, but please register by email:


International Institute for Social History, KNAW
Instituto de História Contemporânea, NOVA-FCSH
CHAM — Centre for the Humanities, NOVA-FCSH


Day 1 – 25 June

09:30-09:40 Opening
Paulo T. Matos (CHAM)

Kees Mandemakers (IISG)

Grid systems in Andaluzia
Diego Ramiro Fariñas (CSIC)

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

Historical GIS of Madrid: exploring spatio-temporal patterns of mortality
Yolanda Casado (CSIC) & Darya Ordanovich (Esri Spain)

12:15-13:30 Lunch

Disentangling death record addresses: Madrid 1917-1922
Laura Cilek (CSIC) & Darya Ordanovich (Esri Spain)

The GIStorical Antwerp
Iason Jongepier (U. Antwerp)

15:30-15:45 Tea break

Digitizing Dutch Cadaster
Hans Mol (U. Leiden) & Thomas Vermaut (Fryske Akademy)

Geocoding the HSN
Diogo Paiva (IISG)

20:00 Dinner

Day 2 – 26 June

Building and exploring an Historical-GIS for Lisbon
Daniel Alves (IHC)

Amsterdam Time Machine Addresses
Ivo Zandhuis (Erasmus U.)

11:30-11:45 Coffee break

Urban environment and Mortality Disparities in Spain
Mathias Voigt (CSIC)

12:45-14:00 Lunch

Best practices in historical GIS
Round table

Feedback session