Historical research constitutes a specialized application of GIS that raises problems not generally contemplated by software developers. Because this application is so new, methods remain in flux and it is difficult to recognize GIS use as any sort of subfield in historical studies. Historians attempt to understand the real world of human activity and changes in human communities during periods of time that are not their own. Most historians focus their attention on eras prior to the invention of the data collection techniques on which the majority of GIS users rely, which means that data acquisition and organization consume a great deal of the time spent on any research project. As historians adapt GIS to their needs, they must often use limited data of poor ...

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