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Geographic Information Systems

Historical Analysis

GIS is a versatile and highly adaptive technology that can be applied to virtually any field. From history to biology, from medicine to criminology, GIS makes data come to life, and we can help you find ways to make GIS work for you.

GIS can be used to map the locations of historical resources in our community. These historical site locations can then be connected to information gathered from sources such as the manuscript census record or old maps and images of these locations. This allows for the easy exploration of multiple records to better understand the history behind the site.

Chestertown Historical Geography Project

3D visualization of a historic building3D visualization of a historic buildingThis project involved the creation of a GIS for the town of Chestertown. The project used the historic Sanborn maps and census data to create interactive maps that highlight historic properties and allow the user to analyze demographic trends.First we georeferenced the Sanborn Maps to current Chestertown GIS data. Access databases were then created to store the census data for the years 1900, 1910, and 1920. The census records are linked to the specific addresses on the digitized Sanborn maps. At this point, the data was used to analyze demographic variables over time and space. The final project will be made freely available to members of the Chestertown community, the Kent County Historical Commission, as well as the Kent County Public Library and the Kent County School District.
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Take a look at the full size interactive map the GIS team created.

Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions Presentation

This presentation shows how Washington College’s GIS lab worked in collaboration with the Town of Chestertown and Kees de Mooy to produce an interactive map using modern technology, historic maps, and census records from the early 1900s to create a database full of information about historic Chestertown.

Past Historical Geography Projects