GIS

Sep. 17

I never thought of maps being used as a tool to display a certain perspective of how to present information. They are very similar to history books which, display the truth, but sometimes leave out or emphasize certain aspects to support a claim, bias, point/argument etc. Certain features may be omitted as Fleckenstein suggests because they might not apply directly to the mapmaker. This is interesting though because is there really an accurate map? Even with data maps, how are we supposed to believe everything that the map portrays? Also, too much data is overwhelming on a map, so it is difficult to determine what should be used to effectively display specific information pertaining to a certain idea, cause, issue, event etc. The Google earth tool was something that I had never used before, and I immediately typed in historical events such as WWII battles, Civil Rights movements and other landmarks. While the information that it pulled was definitely part of each of my searches, there was not as much description and detail as ai had hoped. There lacks data on the specific places and events that are (probably) commonly searched for, particularly by historians who, like myself, tend to fully grasp an event with visual aid. If anything else, the Google Earth application furthered my desire to use maps as part of my final project. I am unsure of what exactly I will do, but since I am a fan of the visual aspect of learning, I hope to implement this somehow.

As a Canadian, I am very proud that our government first administered the GIS data, particularly because after looking at the effect GIS has on our society today; it would be very difficult to understand a world without it. GIS has opened a window for the visualization and analysis of history – whether it’s historical quantitative data or events. All of the visual mapping tools of today are based off GIS data and even for everyday use such as Google Maps. This idea of historical geography via GIS mapping is quite applicable to most historians because we can now use more evidence than just images, we can digitally map out specific information, which will only entice the public even more. Although there are still technicality issues regarding GIS and HGIS, as a tool, they are fundamental to the growth and more importantly, preservation of our society in the sense that they collect and maintain past data. They help provide reasoning to unanswered questions – visually displaying data that can be manifested and interpreted by historians in particular. This tool is going to significantly contribute to the success and progress of not only our society, but history.

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