Workshop on GIS and Historical Network Research (HNR)

, 2:00 pm to

This workshop aims at bringing together researchers who work at the intersection of historical research, Network theory and GIS. It will take place at the Heyne Haus, Papendiek 16, Seminarraum 1, Göttingen.

The scope of this workshop is an exchange of experiences about methods and tools related to GIS and  Network Research in historical context. Researchers will present their projects and get feedback from colleages on methodological and technical issues related to their approach in both areas. Participation is open to everybody but limited to 20 people. Please register at


14:00 - 14:15:  Jörg Wettlaufer (ADWG/GCDH)


14:15 - 15:00:   Anna P. Orlowska & Grzegorz Myrda (Polish Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

Trade Networks in Poland in the Late Middle Ages and early Modernity. Time and Additional Factors in the Formation of Networks

In April of 2017 a project started that aims to investigate the network of the annual fairs in Greater Poland from 1385 to 1655. The main target of the project is the investigation into how and under which influences the network formed and evolved in the time period. The project is attached to the Historical Atlas section at the Polish Academy of Sciences and uses the experience of this research group, in the field of history as well as in the application of digital approaches for historical purposes. For the most part, two tools were adapted for this: GIS ( and Indxr, an application which allows the edition of a source without transcription  ( addition, the project will be able to utilize the data from the atlas volume on the Voievodship Greater Poland, which should be finished by June 2017. Thus, one of the three challenges of the project – namely the geographical extent of the network – will be met with an established solution. The two other challenges, the temporal and the structural, are linked to the nature of annual fairs.An annual fair constituted an exception to the usually legal situation by privilege granted by the sovereign. This exception permitted foreign merchants the direct trade with each other and with the inhabitants of the town in questions. It was only granted for a few days and always began at the same day of the year. The merchants sought to optimize their trade by visiting a many annual fairs as possible with the lowers possible expenditure. The towns tried to win this traffic for themselves by adjusting time frame and specialization of the fairs to build sequences of way stations. Therefore, a net is formed, whose knots are not permanent and whose lifetime and moment of appearance determine the flow of goods within the network. These knots exhibit varyingly strong tendencies to connect to other knots – depending on the specialization on certain goods. Choosing a suitable tool for the analysis of this network is therefore essential for the success of the project.

Most projects conducted in The Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy Of Sciences, now use GIS (Geographical Information Systems) tools and/or GIS technology. Sometimes users using such a tools even don't know they are using GIS. Digital editing of historical manuscripts application, called Indxr, developed in IHPAN, uses this technology, too. There are some additional unique ideas behind this application which can speedup digital editing of historical sources itself, but application developing also.
The most important thing is using standards and mainly WMS (Web Map Service) standard in collecting and gathering (not only) geographical information from historical sources. The use of standards in general but WMS in particular, contributes to increased interoperability when it comes to utilising collected data.
In another project to create a database based on ontology, which will enable the sharing of information using open Linked Data, WMS standard is used among others to create the tools consisted of interactive web forms with an interactive maps embedded and useful hints, to facilitate convenient data collection. Time extension of WMS is then used to build a geoportal presenting changes in settlement from former to current Poland territory over time.
Foundation for all of above solutions is the database, accessible through the Internet, for everyone interested in using it. The data collected can be expanded, updated, verified using dedicated web tools associated with database or any GIS application to which the user is accustomed to. This makes it much easier to achieve cross-project synergies using the same collected data, or enriching it with additional layers of information.
During the presentation all the details related to above topics will be explained and examples of utilising that knowledge and tools in the conducted projects will be presented.

15:00 - 15:30: Christoph Kudella (SUB Göttingen)

Historical Network Research. Crossover Networks and spatial Aspects (ttbc)

15:30 - 16:00: Coffee Break

16:00-16:30: Niels Petersen (Univ. Göttingen)

Historische Klosterkarte Niedersachsen und Chausseebau in Nordwestdeutschland 1764-1843

16:30-17:00:   Mauricio Nicolas Vergara (GCDH guest)

GIS-Based Approach for the Study of Avalanche Incidents in the Alps during the First World War

Avalanches in the Alpine Front during the First World War were sometimes more lethal than the weapons of the opposing army, thus represent an interesting subject of study for the analysis of the relationship between the natural environment and history. In my presentation I will introduce my project, which I am currently developing, about the importance of this natural phenomenon in the history of the Alpine Front. In particular, I will outline which materials and methods could be implemented for GIS visualization and analysis in order to gain knowledge concerning which were the causes and consequences of avalanche incidents.

17:00-17:30:  Friedrich Müller (SUB Göttingen)

DARIAH-DE Geo-Browser - a tool for visualizing, exploring and analyzing spatio-temporal relations in the field of digital humanities

The Geo-Browser is a web-based application[1]and a service[2] that supports researchers from different disciplines to gain knowledge and build new hypotheses from their spatio-temporal data. The presentation will focus on project examples to illustrate the functional possibilities of the Geo-Browser.  ([1] [2]

17:30-18:00: General Discussion and Conclusion

18:30: Dinner at a local restaurant

 See also: