Special Issue "Historical GIS and Digital Humanities"

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Keiji Yano Website E-Mail
Department of Geography, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
Interests: geodemographics, spatial humanities, historical GIS, virtual cities, history of quantitative geography and GIS
Guest Editor
Dr. Akihiro Tsukamoto Website E-Mail
Department of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Tokushima University, Tokushima, Japan
Interests: historical GIS, historical geography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the middle of the 2000s, digital humanities (DH) research projects involving the collaboration and uniting of researchers from both the humanities and sciences fields have begun developing even within the conventional humanities world to build archives of academic materials using information and communication technology (ICT), analyzing cultural contents, publishing research results, focusing on how the results are to be shown, and so forth. Of these, the historical geographical information systems (GIS) using geospatial information have served as a spatial turn in the humanities and become central to the creation of new academic fields within humanities, such as GeoHumanities and Spatial Humanities. These ensure a significant development in new, project-based research styles through interdisciplinary and international collaborations using historical GIS.

This Special Issue aims to promote new and innovative studies and to propose new possibilities of interdisciplinary and collaborative research within the humanities in order to improve historical GIS and the digital humanities with a spatial turn.

Prof. Keiji Yano
Dr. Akihiro Tsukamoto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Digital humanities
  • Historical GIS
  • Spatial history, geohumanities
  • Old maps and old photos
  • 3D modelling of cultural contents
  • Georeference
  • Place names
  • Web GIS

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Transparent Collision Visualization of Point Clouds Acquired by Laser Scanning
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(9), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8090425 - 19 Sep 2019
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a method to visualize large-scale colliding point clouds by highlighting their collision areas, and apply the method to visualization of collision simulation. Our method uses our recent work that achieved precise three-dimensional see-through imaging, i.e., transparent visualization, of [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a method to visualize large-scale colliding point clouds by highlighting their collision areas, and apply the method to visualization of collision simulation. Our method uses our recent work that achieved precise three-dimensional see-through imaging, i.e., transparent visualization, of large-scale point clouds that were acquired via laser scanning of three-dimensional objects. We apply the proposed collision visualization method to two applications: (1) The revival of the festival float procession of the Gion Festival, Kyoto city, Japan. The city government plans to revive the original procession route, which is narrow and not used at present. For the revival, it is important to know whether the festival floats would collide with houses, billboards, electric wires, or other objects along the original route. (2) Plant simulations based on laser-scanned datasets of existing and new facilities. The advantageous features of our method are the following: (1) A transparent visualization with a correct depth feel that is helpful to robustly determine the collision areas; (2) the ability to visualize high collision risk areas and real collision areas; and (3) the ability to highlight target visualized areas by increasing the corresponding point densities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
Japanese Lexical Variation Explained by Spatial Contact Patterns
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(9), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8090400 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
In this paper, we analyse spatial variation in the Japanese dialectal lexicon by assembling a set of methodologies using theories in variationist linguistics and GIScience, and tools used in historical GIS. Based on historical dialect atlas data, we calculate a linguistic distance matrix [...] Read more.
In this paper, we analyse spatial variation in the Japanese dialectal lexicon by assembling a set of methodologies using theories in variationist linguistics and GIScience, and tools used in historical GIS. Based on historical dialect atlas data, we calculate a linguistic distance matrix across survey localities. The linguistic variation expressed through this distance is contrasted with several measurements, based on spatial distance, utilised to estimate language contact potential across Japan, historically and at present. Further, administrative boundaries are tested for their separation effect. Measuring aggregate associations within linguistic variation can contrast previous notions of dialect area formation by detecting continua. Depending on local geographies in spatial subsets, great circle distance, travel distance and travel times explain a similar proportion of the variance in linguistic distance despite the limitations of the latter two. While they explain the majority, two further measurements estimating contact have lower explanatory power: least cost paths, modelling contact before the industrial revolution, based on DEM and sea navigation, and a linguistic influence index based on settlement hierarchy. Historical domain boundaries and present day prefecture boundaries are found to have a statistically significant effect on dialectal variation. However, the interplay of boundaries and distance is yet to be identified. We claim that a similar methodology can address spatial variation in other digital humanities, given a similar spatial and attribute granularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
Wind Condition Analysis of Japanese Rural Landscapes in the 19th Century: A Case Study of Kichijoji Village in Musashino Upland
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(9), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8090396 - 05 Sep 2019
Abstract
Woodlands in the traditional rural landscape of Japan are thought to have a role as windbreaks, among various functions. However, in previous studies, the windbreak effect of woodlands in early-modern settlements has not been quantitatively analyzed. To perform a quantitative analysis, computational fluid [...] Read more.
Woodlands in the traditional rural landscape of Japan are thought to have a role as windbreaks, among various functions. However, in previous studies, the windbreak effect of woodlands in early-modern settlements has not been quantitatively analyzed. To perform a quantitative analysis, computational fluid dynamics was used with a 3D reconstruction of the early-modern rural landscape of Kichijoji village in a suburb of Tokyo. The landscape was reconstructed based on historical records. The analysis showed that the woodland in Kichijoji village effectively reduced the speed of northbound and southbound winds in the fields. The results are consistent with the actual prevailing wind direction in this area. The purpose of this study was to determine a method and model to quantify the windbreak effect of woodlands in early-modern settlements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
A Practical Procedure to Integrate the First 1:500 Urban Map of Valencia into a Tile-Based Geospatial Information System
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(9), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8090378 - 29 Aug 2019
Abstract
The use of geographic data from early maps is a common approach to understanding urban geography as well as to study the evolution of cities over time. The specific goal of this paper is to provide a means for the integration of the [...] Read more.
The use of geographic data from early maps is a common approach to understanding urban geography as well as to study the evolution of cities over time. The specific goal of this paper is to provide a means for the integration of the first 1:500 urban map of the city of València (Spain) on a tile-based geospatial system. We developed a workflow consisting of three stages: the digitization of the original 421 map sheets, the transformation to the European Terrestrial Reference System of 1989 (ETRS89), and the conversion to a tile-based file format, where the second stage is clearly the most mathematically involved. The second stage actually consists of two steps, one transformation from the pixel reference system to the 1929 local reference system followed by a second transformation from the 1929 local to the ETRS89 system. The last stage comprises a map reprojection to adapt to tile-based geospatial standards. The paper describes a pilot study of one map sheet and results showed that the affine and bilinear transformations performed well in both transformations with average residuals under 6 and 3 cm respectively. The online viewer developed in this study shows that the derived tile-based map conforms to common standards and lines up well with other raster and vector datasets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
An Examination of the Distribution of White-Collar Worker Residences in Tokyo and Osaka during the Modernizing Period
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(9), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8090375 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
This paper sheds light on the residences of white-collar workers in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in the modernizing period using historical statistical data and telephone directories from a historical geographic information system (GIS) analysis. We examined the differences between the distribution of white-collar [...] Read more.
This paper sheds light on the residences of white-collar workers in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in the modernizing period using historical statistical data and telephone directories from a historical geographic information system (GIS) analysis. We examined the differences between the distribution of white-collar workers and the progress of suburbanization by comparing the respective unemployment censuses and telephone directories of Tokyo and Osaka. The analysis shows that in 1925, there was a tendency for many white-collar workers to live in certain city sectors, as well as in the city center. However, this trend had changed by the mid-1930s, when data show that private-sector white-collar workers tended to live more in areas with a relatively low population density. Compared to Osaka, Tokyo was relatively suburbanized with white-collar workers in private companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Expressing History through a Geo-Spatial Ontology
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080362 - 20 Aug 2019
Abstract
Conventional Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software struggles to represent uncertain and contested historical knowledge. An ontology, meaning a semantic structure defining named entities, and explicit and typed relationships, can be constructed in the absence of locational data, and spatial objects can be attached [...] Read more.
Conventional Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software struggles to represent uncertain and contested historical knowledge. An ontology, meaning a semantic structure defining named entities, and explicit and typed relationships, can be constructed in the absence of locational data, and spatial objects can be attached to this structure if and when they become available. We describe the overall architecture of the Great Britain Historical GIS, and the PastPlace Administrative Unit Ontology that forms its core. Then, we show how particular historical geographies can be represented within this architecture through two case studies, both emphasizing entity definition and especially the application of a multi-level typology, in which each “unit” has an unchanging “type” but also a time-variant “status”. The first includes the linked systems of Poor Law unions and registration districts in 19th century England and Wales, in which most but not all unions and districts were coterminous. The second case study includes the international system of nation-states, in which most units do not appear from nothing, but rather gain or lose independence. We show that a relatively simple data model is able to represent much historical complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
Fused Transparent Visualization of Point Cloud Data and Background Photographic Image for Tangible Cultural Heritage Assets
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080343 - 31 Jul 2019
Abstract
Digital archiving of three-dimensional cultural heritage assets has increased the demand for visualization of large-scale point clouds of cultural heritage assets acquired by laser scanning. We proposed a fused transparent visualization method that visualizes a point cloud of a cultural heritage asset in [...] Read more.
Digital archiving of three-dimensional cultural heritage assets has increased the demand for visualization of large-scale point clouds of cultural heritage assets acquired by laser scanning. We proposed a fused transparent visualization method that visualizes a point cloud of a cultural heritage asset in an environment using a photographic image as the background. We also proposed lightness adjustment and color enhancement methods to deal with the reduced visibility caused by the fused visualization. We applied the proposed method to a laser-scanned point cloud of a high-valued cultural festival float with complex inner and outer structures. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method enables high-quality transparent visualization of the cultural asset in its surrounding environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
Geo-Referencing and Mapping 1901 Census Addresses for England and Wales
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080320 - 24 Jul 2019
Abstract
Geocoding historical addresses is a primary yet nontrivial application of spatial analysis in historical geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial humanities. We demonstrate our endeavours of geo-referencing and visualising historical census addresses in England and Wales, by matching the residential addresses to a [...] Read more.
Geocoding historical addresses is a primary yet nontrivial application of spatial analysis in historical geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial humanities. We demonstrate our endeavours of geo-referencing and visualising historical census addresses in England and Wales, by matching the residential addresses to a historical gazetteer and a contemporary address database of Britain. The results indicate that it is feasible to standardise and geocode a large share of unique addresses from the historical database. The historical gazetteer and the modern address registers are two complementary data assets that can be used to geo-reference both well-formatted addresses in urban areas and non-standard addresses such as place names or building names in rural areas. The geo-referenced historical census data open up new opportunities for a broad spectrum of geo-demographic research on historical population characteristics at the micro level in England and Wales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical GIS and Digital Humanities)
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