ABSTRACT The GIS is a tool that allows us to study the logic of the distribution of phenomena that occur on the Earth’s surface. In this article, we propose exploring its potential for historical research over long periods. Here, we present a Historical GIS (HGIS) of the railways of Europe for the period 1830-2010. This is a response to the need to carry out spatialtemporal analyses in order to evaluate the territorial impact of the railway and its influence on the distribution of population. The main objectives of this work are: to publicise the existence of this spatial database; to explain the approach followed in order to produce it; and to highlight some of the results that have already been achieved by using it. To date, the possibilities offered by HGIS have hardly been explored in research into the territorial impact of the railway. Similarly, until now, little work has been done in this area at the European scale. The most innovative aspects of this HGIS therefore lie in the methodology used and the subject treated.
Cite this paper
M. Morillas-Torné, "Creation of a Geo-Spatial Database to Analyse Railways in Europe (1830-2010). A Historical GIS Approach," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2012, pp. 176-187. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2012.42023.
 P. K. O’BRIEN, “Railways and the Economic Development of Western Europe, 1830-1914,” Macmillan, London, 1983.
I. N. Gregory and P. Ell, “Historical GIS: Technologies, Methodologies and Scholarship,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007.
L. Siebert, “Using GIS to Map Rail Network History,” The Journal of Transport History, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2004, pp. 84-104.
I. N. Gregory and R. G. HEALEY, “Historical GIS: Structuring, Mapping and Analysing Geographies of the Past,” Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 31, No. 5, 2007, pp. 638-653. doi:10.1177/0309132507081495
I. N. Gregory, “Exploiting Time and Space: A Challenge for GIS in the Digital Humanities,” In: D. J. Bodenhamer, J. Corrigan and T. M. Harris, Eds., The Spatial Humanities, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2010, pp. 58-75.
K. Stanev, J. Martí-Henneberg and M. Ivanov, “Regional Transformations of a State under Construction: Bulgaria, 1878-2002,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011, pp. 111-134. doi:10.1162/JINH_a_00207
L. E. Silveira, D. Alves, N. M. Lima, A. Alcantara and J. Puig, “Population and Railways in Portugal, 1801-1930,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011, pp. 29-52. doi:10.1162/JINH_a_00204
J. Martí-Henneberg and I. N. Gregory, “The Railways, Urbanization and Local Demography in England and Wales, 1825-1911,” Social Science History, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2010, pp. 119-228. doi:10.1215/01455532-2009-025
R. Schwartz, I. N. Gregory and T. Thévenin, “Spatial History: Railways, Uneven Development, and Population Change in France and Great Britain, 1850-1914,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011, pp. 53-88. doi:10.1162/JINH_a_00205
S. Akgüng?r,C. Aldemir, Y. Kustepeli, Y. Gülcan and V. Tecim, “The Effect of Railway Expansion on Population in Turkey, 1856-2000,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011, pp. 135-157.
J. Rusanen, O. Kotavaara and H. Antikainen, “Urbanization and Transportation in Finland, 1880-1970,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011, pp. 89-109. doi:10.1162/JINH_a_00206
J. Atack, F. Bateman, M. Haines and R. A. Margo, “Did Railroads Induce or Follow Economic Growth? Urbanization and Population Growth in the American Midwest, 1850-1860,” Social Science History, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2010, pp. 171-197. doi:10.1215/01455532-2009-024
I. N. Gregory, J. Martí-Henneberg and F. J. Tapiador, “Modelling Long-Term Pan-European Population Change from 1870 to 2000 by Using Geographical Information Systems,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), Vol. 173, No. 1, 2010, pp. 31-50.
T. J. Misa and J. Schot, “Inventing Europe: Technology and the Hidden Integration of Europe,” History and Technology, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2005, pp. 1-19.
I. Masser, “Building European Spatial Data Infrastructures,” ESRI Press, Redlands, 2007.
D. M. Danko, “The Digital Chart of the World Project,” Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, Vol. 58, No. 8, 1992, pp. 1125-1128.
M. Coob, “Railways of Great Britain: A Historical Atlas,” Ian Allan, Shepperton, 2003.
K. Baker, “The Bartholomew Archive,” The Geographer, Vol. 4, 2009-2010, pp. 10-11.
I. N. Gregory, “A Place in History: A Guide Using GIS in Historical Research,” Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis, Belfast, 2005.
Z. Altamimi and C. Boucher, “The ITRS and ETRS89 Relationship: New Results from ITRF2000,” Proceedings of the EUREF Symposium, Dubrovnik, 16-18 May 2001, pp. 16-18.
R. Schwartz, I. N. Gregory and J. Martí-Henneberg, “History and GIS: Railways, Population Change, and Agricultural Development in Late Nineteenth Century Wales,” In: M. Dear, J. Ketchum, S. Luria and D. Richardson, Eds., GeoHumanities: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place, Routledge, Abingdon, 2011, pp. 251-266.
L. Mojica and J. Martí-Henneberg, “Railways and Population Distribution: France, Spain and Portugal, 1870- 2000,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011, pp. 15-28. doi:10.1162/JINH_a_00203
M. Morillas-Torné, X. Franch, J. Martí-Henneberg and A. García, “Urban Transformation and the Development of Spain’s Railway Network 1850-2000,” Down to Earth, Cologne, Accepted, 2012.