Sample data sets

Natural Earth: cultural and physical data. Download Quick Start Kit.

U.S. Cities and Populations. U.S. Census Bureau and Erik Steiner, Spatial History Project, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Stanford University.

Will Thomas, et al., Railroads and the Making of Modern America (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2011). Historical railroad information for the United States in a variety of formats.

John H. Long, et al., Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture, The Newberry Library, Chicago (2010).

Jason Heppler, “Machines in the Valley” (2015).

National Historic GIS. U.S. Census data available via the NHGIS data finder.

Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations

The Atlantic Netowrks Projects

Gapminder, world demographic and health data


A New Nation Votes

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

China Dimensions data collection

Stanford Large Network Dataset Collection

Gephi datasets

Lincoln Mullen, historydata: Datasets for Historians

Data repositories


Historical maps

David Rumsey Map Collection

New York Public Library: Map Division

USGS topoView

Maps of Africa

Writing on maps and mapmaking

David J. Bodenhamer, John Corrigan, and Trevor M. Harris, eds., Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives, The Spatial Humanities (Indiana University Press, 2015).

David J. Bodenhamer, John Corrigan, and Trevor M. Harris, eds., The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship, Spatial Humanities (Indiana University Press, 2010).

Tim Cresswell, Geographic Thought: A Critical Introduction, Critical Introductions to Geography (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction, Short Introductions to Geography (Blackwell Pub, 2004).

Tom Elliott and Sean Gillies, “Digital Geography and Classics,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3, no. 1 (2009).

Ian N. Gregory and A. Geddes, eds., Toward Spatial Humanities: Historical GIS and Spatial History, The Spatial Humanities (Indiana University Press, 2014).

Jo Guldi, “What is the Spatial Turn?Spatial Humanities: A Project of the Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship.

Isabel Meirelles, Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations (Rockport Publishers, 2013).

Mark Monmonier and H. J. de Blij, How to Lie with Maps, 2nd ed. (University Of Chicago Press, 1996).

Mia Ridge, Don Lafreniere, and Scott Nesbit, “Creating Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives through Design,” International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 7, no. 1–2 (October 1, 2013): 176–89, doi:10.3366/ijhac.2013.0088.

Stephen Robertson, “Putting Harlem on the Map,” Writing History in the Digital Age, edited by Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki (University of Michigan Press, 2012).

Susan Schulten, The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880–1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Susan Schulten, Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Richard White, “What is Spatial History?” (Stanford University, Spatial History Project, 2010).

Writing on networks

Peter Bearman, James Moody, and Robert Faris, “Networks and History” Complexity 8 (2012): 61–71.

Shawn Graham, Ian Milligan, and Scott Weingart, The Historian’s Macroscope: Big Digital History (Imperial College Press, 2016). See especially Network Analysis and Network Analysis Fundamentals.

Kieran Healy, “Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere (June 9, 2013)

Manuel Lima, The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge (Princeton Architectural Press, 2013).

Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History (Verso, 2005).

Scott Weingart’s series on “Networks Demystified”.

The Historical Network Research bibliography.