Geospatial Humanities

Geospatial Data Resource Guide

Geospatial Mapping Resources

Welcome to the Berea College Hutchins Library geospatial resource guide. 

What is Geospatial Mapping?
Geospatial mapping, also known as a geographical information system (GIS), incorporates software, hardware, data, and data collecting processes to manage, capture, analyze, display, and contextualize forms of geographically referenced information. It also helps researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds initiate academic projects that answer profound questions about geographical relationships, patterns, and trends. 

The geospatial process requires:

  • Defining your research question
    • Construct an academically driven question that refers to geography in some form.
      • Ex. 1. I want to know the percentage of people living below the line of poverty in food deserts in Central Kentucky.  
      • Ex. 2. I want to know how the geographical trajectory of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei inspired his creative process.
      • Ex. 3. I want to analyze how restrictive Latin American governments have contributed to contemporary migration patterns.
      • Ex. 4. I want to know increasing temperatures affect the migration patterns of water fleas (Daphnia magna) in Lake Tanganyika
  • Identify your units of analysis
    • Who or what am I looking into?
      • Individuals, households, families
      • Institutions (schools, hospitals, non-profit organizations, companies)
      • Products (commodities, stocks, currencies)
  • Identify Time and Place Frequencies
    • ‚ÄčIn what period in time would you like to know the particular activities of said institutions, individuals, or products?
      • Ex. In the month of May in 1998
      • Ex. In the fiscal year of 1968
  • Pinpoint Geographic Units 
    •  What part of the world is your research question looking at?
      • Counties of Kentucky 
      • Countries that signed the Paris Accord agreement
      • Countries currently in the EU
      • Hospitals located in Nepal
  • Recognize whether the data is Time Series Data 

    • Cross-sectional: collected at the same point of time for several individuals

    • Longitudinal/Panel: data collected at a sequence of time points for each of a sample of individuals
    • Time Series: data collected at a sequence of time points, usually at a uniform frequency
    • Pooled cross sectional time series: mixture of time series data and cross-section data

* Adapted from Nicole Schultz's guide to Geospatial Data at the University of Michigan.

Visual Resources

Cartographic Citation

The format of a reference will depend on the type of map you use for your academic project. The following is a list of the most common map reference elements. 

Citation styles will most likely include these elements but will differ in order.

  • Author or editor 
  • Title: almost always in italics or with parentheses. If a formal title cannot be determined, give the map a name and place it in square brackets[ ]  
  • Format: always placed in square brackets[ ]
  • Edition: whether it is 1st, 2nd, ...
  • Scale 
  • Place of publication 
  • Publisher
  • Date: date of publication

*Modeled after the Cartographic (Maps) Citation Guide by the University of Melbourne.

For Additional Help

If you are assigned a multimedia/new media project for your class or are interested in learning digital tools and methods schedule a consultation with the Digital Initiatives Librarian on the Digital Initiatives home page