Putting Newspapers on a Map: Geographical Information System (GIS) in the Information Networka of Empires in Noprth-eat Asia

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


This presentation aims at addressing historical questions to the land within a geographical framework. It shows that technologies such as archaeological and historical Geographical Information Systems (GIS), combined with historical geography and applied to existing data and already compiled maps, cartographic or topographic resources, can provide new answers, better definitions of old problems, deeper understandings, and more thought-provoking questions than previous, more fragmented approaches have produced. Such methodologies can even challenge long-established narratives. Therefore, this presentation shades some light on this challenging question: how can the compilation of historical maps with the use of GIS technology help to visualize the historical realities in a project in ways that facilitate productive analysis?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enable us to add temporal and spatial dimensions to non-spatial data and bring it into context with other, external data sets thus exploring multiple data for spatiotemporal relationships and therefore creating new knowledge. With the onset of web applications and cloud computing, these systems can be utilised simultaneously globally and across institutions making collaborations, knowledge exchange and outreach more efficient and effective.
Waseda University and Queen’s University Belfast have collaborated to develop a GIS that for the Kaken Project. Over the past two years researchers from both institutions have worked on transforming complex datasets about historic newspapers in China from between 1912 and 1937 into a dynamic spatial-temporal database that will be made available online to researchers worldwide. Using web applications, the GIS offers analytical tools to filter key data by time and place and visualise it in real time. With the ability to add further spatial-temporal data, this GIS provides a powerful tool to explore and view the Kaken database in its historical and geographical context.
Period19 Mar 2023
Event titleThe International Conference on The Information Networks of Empires in North-East Asia
Event typeWorkshop
LocationTokyo, JapanShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • GIS
  • newspaper
  • East Asia
  • map
  • network