Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The Programming Historian offers novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate their research.
Video tutorials on many software packages.
Stanford Spatial History Project
Projects and publications on spatial history.
ArcGIS 10 Desktop is the latest version of the most widely used GIS product, made by a company called Esri. It is a Windows-only suite of programs. Powerful software with a steep learning curve.
Map your own data using this cloud-based mapping software. Georectified historical maps may be used as basemaps. Note: As of January 2017, Carto is transitioning to a new platform, Carto Builder. While this includes new functionality, the interface has changed; anticipate changes when using guides
Create simple maps using the Google maps interface.
Image Editing Software
Depending on how much/ what type of data you're working with, what form you want your final product to take, and how much time you have, image editing software is occasionally a good option. It can also be used to customize the appearance of maps created in desktop GIS software. See library guides for Adobe Indesign
Palladio is a web-based platform for the visualization of complex, multi-dimensional data. You can use it to plot and analyze point data. Click for an introductory tutorial
from Miriam Posner.
Open source desktop GIS software, with some similar functionality to ArcGIS.
Map United States Census data from 1790- 2014. User-friendly interface. See more information and tutorials at http://guides.library.upenn.edu/online_mapping . You can also download tables from Social Explorer for use in other applications.
StoryMap JS (Knight Lab)
"StoryMapJS is a free tool to help you tell stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events." It allows you to integrate multimedia files with point data.
Combine ArcGIS online maps with multimedia content. Requires an ArcGIS Online account. Swipe and spyglass apps allow map comparisons (for example, historical and contemporary maps of the same place.)
"VisualEyes is an HTML5 web-based authoring tool developed at the University of Virginia to weave images, maps, charts, video and data into highly interactive and compelling dynamic visualizations. VisualEyes enables scholars to present selected primary source materials and research findings while encouraging active inquiry and hands-on learning among general and targeted audiences."
- The Negro Travelers' Green Book (Google Maps): A project of the University of South Carolina Libraries. "The Negro Travelers’ Green Book was a travel guide series published from 1936 to 1964 by Victor H. Green. It was intended to provide African American motorists and tourists with the information necessary to board, dine, and sightsee [comparatively] comfortably and safely during the era of segregation" Travel guide entries are represented as points on a custom Google Map.
- The Voyage of the Clarence, 1864-65 (StoryMap JS): Created by students in Dr. Ian Petrie's course Voyages of Discovery (Science, Technology, and Society 077, Fall 2015). Follow them on Twitter at @ShipClarence .