Services and Data

The Historical GIS Lab offers a variety of specialty services to historians, geographers, and many others at the University of Saskatchewan and around the world.  Historians often need geographic information for their research and high quality maps for their publications, but don’t have the resources to create such datasets and digital images themselves.  Geographers may be adept at spatial analysis but in need of help to represent changes through time.  Many others have historical and geographical knowledge that could be deployed more fully with the right tools.  We can help.  The Lab provides services that range from simple tasks like scanning and printing maps and documents to more complex processes like georectifying and digitizing archival maps.  We can create publication-ready cartography to order or even undertake a full historical GIS project, custom-built to support your particular research program.

Historical Map Digitizing

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Archival map with digitized polygons.

If you have interesting paper maps from archives or published sources, we can help you convert them into a variety of useful digital forms.  We can create image files for publication or use on the web (jpg, tif, pdf, etc.).  We can georectify them so you can overlay modern maps, import them to GoogleEarth or navigate through them with GPS.  And we can digitize the map features into a GIS format for spatial analysis.

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Historical Map Cartography

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Map created for a forthcoming book on French religious history.

If you need made-to-order historical maps for publication in a journal article or book, we can create them. You provide a basic sketch, the map’s goals, and the underlying historical information; we design a map layout that communicates spatial and historical content to readers while meeting your publisher’s specifications.

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Census Mapping Projects

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Census data mapped in a time series.

Historical censuses provide rich information for social, political, cultural, agricultural, environmental, and economic history. We can help you map and spatially analyze census data to answer historical questions and represent change over time at a variety of scales. If you have census data in electronic format we’ll match it to appropriate geographic data and design consistent thematic maps, including map animations for multiple time points. If your census information is in paper format (from published census volumes, for example), we’ll help you key it into an attribute database suitable for mapping and statistical analysis.

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HGIS Project Development

Project Development at the HGIS Lab

HGIS Lab staff design a new HGIS project

Do you have a trove of historical information or a collection of maps that you would like to analyze geographically? We can help you create a full HGIS project from start to finish. We provide consulting services that take you through all stages of a historical GIS project, including data collection, data entry, and data processing; spatial data creation and digitizing; file management and documentation; spatial analysis, and final cartography. You provide the vision, historical expertise, and data sources and we will help you mold it into a complete HGIS project.

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Traditional Land Use Projects

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Compilation map of trapping routes reported by all interviewees.

We can assist the construction of a Traditional Land Use GIS to accompany oral history interviews with community members. We will consult on best practices for gathering geographic information before researchers go into the field and digitize the results into a rigorous, well-designed GIS, including printed maps suitable for distribution to interviewees and others.

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Printing Services

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Printing banners on the HGIS Lab’s wide format printer.

The HGIS Lab provides a wide range of full-color printing services, including:

  • wide format poster and banner printing
  • two-sided color photocopies up to 11” x 17”
  • photograph printing
  • and a range of other printing jobs

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Scanning Services

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Scanning aerial photos on the HGIS Lab’s high resolution flatbed scanner.

We provide a variety of specialty scanning services, including:

  • high resolution flatbed scanning up to 12” x 17” suitable for photographs
  • wide format scanning up to 42”
  • slide, microfilm, microfiche, and transparency scanning
  • large batch scanning
  • optical character recognition (OCR) and scanning to word-searchable PDF
  • and a range of other scanning jobs.

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