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The Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System Study Tool: A GIS-Based Approach to Interpreting History in the Classroom

The Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System Study Tool: A GIS-Based Approach to Interpreting History in the Classroom
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Author(s): Alyssa K. Moore (University of Redlands, USA), Lillian I. Larsen (University of Redlands, USA) and Diana Stuart Sinton (University of Redlands, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Volume: 3
Issue: 3
Pages: 16
Source title: International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research (IJAGR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Donald Patrick Albert (Sam Houston State University, USA) and Samuel Adu-Prah (Sam Houston State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jagr.2012070105

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Abstract

The integration of spatial technologies with humanistic approaches to scholarship is expanding and creating new opportunities and challenges for students. Documenting information about source material is a fundamental step of the historical research process. Traditional geospatial data documentation is maintained within standardized metadata forms, but these are not well suited for documenting historical sources and are cumbersome for people new to GIS and metadata. The Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System Study Tool (SILAS.ST) addresses this and other usage issues for students in undergraduate humanities courses. Through customized toolbars and map templates designed to be used with Esri software, SILAS.ST lowers the barriers to understanding the parameters of spatial datasets while at the same time models the processes of historical inquiry, documentation, and communication of research results. The use of natural language and focused prompts help students begin to understand complex mapping topics such as authorship, relevance, purpose, and uncertainty. This prototype tool aids in the introduction of digital mapping technologies to humanities students.

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