Spatial History: Mapping Places

Each humanity research should include a map to help the reader understand where this project originated. With the new technology, mapping software developers and digital maps now help researchers answer complicated questions that couldn’t be answered before. One example is the GIS software that allows the scholar to identify spatial analysis questions. This essay reflects on the critical role map plays in the humanity field and how it makes information accessible to researchers and the public.

One of the most significant mapping projects was the project conducted by  Mapping Nineteenth-Century London’s Art Market by Pamela Fletcher and Anne Helmreich. The primary purpose of this project was to discover the national and international art market in London. In this project, the author’s methods were mapping and marking the art gallery stores between 1850 and 1914 conducted by Pamela Fletcher and David Israel. In addition, Anne Helmreich and Seth Erickson collected and analyzed sales data from the stock books of Goupil & Cie and Boussod, Valadon & Cie. These analyses included trades at several branches in Europe and the United States such as Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, and New York from1846–1919.[1]

This map and visual analysis assisted in exploring and understanding the art Market in practical ways. Moreover, this method revealed information and interpretations that weren’t available in the past.  I find this article very useful as it shows how mapping helped discover information that wasn’t impossible without this tool. This article allowed me to understand how the art market has changed. The audience now can have a good overview of the market in the past. In the photos, I wish they included more information about each image.

I like how they give credit to each one who participated and contributed to this project in this project as many other scholars don’t do that. You can see each one’s name has been included in the image below.

This project showed how maps helped examine and analyze large amounts of data. Now, maps allow historians and art historians to understand various space questions. As a public historian, I included ACGIS in my research. I was working in a cemetery in Dakhlah Oasis. There were 700 graves on the site, and it wasn’t easy to understand without using the map. The GIS tool allowed me to understand the spatial relationship between graves. The map also allowed me to see the distribution of burial according to age and gender (see map1&2).  Even the use of GIS was influential in my research. It was complicated sometimes, and I had to redo the maps many times. In addition, cleaning the data took me forever to be finished. I hope scholars also included the limitations and difficulties while working on the mapping project.  

(Map1) (Map2)

Overall, this week’s reading allowed me to understand how the map role became critical to any humanity project. It will enable researchers to expand their research. Now, the map can tell the site’s story and offer the audience much information and visual data that weren’t available before.

[1] Pamela Fletcher and Anne Helmreich, with David Israel and Seth Erickson, “Local/Global: Mapping Nineteenth-Century London’s Art Market,” Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide 11:3 (Autumn 2012)

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