A rare glimpse into design rationale: Our GIS for History Project

Josh Radinsky just published a paper describing some of the design rationale for the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for History project that we worked on together. He does a really nice job of explaining why the tool is the way it is. If you’re a hard-core GIS person, you might look at the web site and wonder why it seems so simple. But given our goal of designing a web-based tool that could be used by high school students in a one-week course, there was a strong need to cut back on many of the more advanced features that GIS provides and focus instead on a few key features that guide students to think about particular historical concepts.

The paper is published in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of the Association for History and Computing, and is available online.

If you’d like to check out the GIS for History web site and mapping tool that we created, it’s live at: http://www.gisforhistory.org

Disclosure: I’m listed as a co-author.

posted September 10, 2008 by ben

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