Postindustrial Places and "Big Data": Exploiting the Potential of Historical Spatial Data Infrastructures for Archaeology

Author(s): Daniel J Trepal; Don Lafrenier

Year: 2018

Summary

This paper discusses the ways in which emerging "Big Data" approaches to historical research, in the form of GIS-based Historical Spatial Data Infrastructures (HSDIs), represent a powerful way urban and industrial archaeologists may better exploit historical source material. GIS-based research remains an underutilized asset within historical archaeology and its subfields. Drawing examples from HSDIs covering two postindustrial places (the city of London, Ontario and the Keweenaw Peninsula, in upper Michigan), we show how the use of historical "Big Data" can expand the scale of archaeological inquiry through the rapid and efficient manipulation, visualization and linkage of very large bodies of digitized, spatialized historical data at widely varying scales and across time. By helping to identify long-term processes manifesting themselves in the built and social environments of both past and present landscapes, HSDIs also represent a powerful means to generate more sophisticated, better-informed hypotheses that can be tested through fieldwork.

 

Cite this Record

Postindustrial Places and "Big Data": Exploiting the Potential of Historical Spatial Data Infrastructures for Archaeology. Daniel J Trepal, Don Lafrenier. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441675)

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Keywords

Temporal Keywords
c. 1880-2016

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 407