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Historical Cartography & GIS: Tasmanian Aborigines


Anders, RJ, Historical Cartography & GIS: Tasmanian Aborigines, Australian Historical Association Regional Conference, 4th-8th July 2011, Inveresk, Launceston (2011) [Conference Extract]

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Maps are a powerful way in which to represent and explore spatial relationships (location, proximity, and adjacency). Map making has evolved rapidly with the digital era, leading to the now widespread use of computerised Geographic Information Systemís (GIS). These systems dramatically enhance our capacity to store, manipulate, analyse and communicate spatial information, whether it be 2-dimensional (planimetric), 3-dimensional (topographic), or 4-dimensional (representing change over time). A GIS is a system that can capture, store, analyse, manage, and display data that is defined spatially by geographic coordinates, usually as points, lines and polygons with attached attributes, or as a raster grid of data. GIS technology can allow data from a number of disparate sources to be brought together into a consistent format, combined through spatial and database processes, analysed using spatial and database queries, and presented in a variety of different map forms, or using an array of cartographic devices. Importantly, unlike a paper map, a GIS representation can efficiently evolve and grow as new information comes to light. In this presentation, a selection of relatively simple maps with a Tasmanian Aboriginal focus is presented and discussed. The capacity of GIS to aid historical research is demonstrated through examples such as identifying potential routes across the land bridge from the mainland Australian into Tasmania; using rivers to determine the extent of tribal boundaries; visualising the contact zones between settlers, troop depots, and Aboriginal nationals; and viewing a compilation of the journey lines of George Augustus Robinson.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Anders, RJ (Mr Robert Anders)
ID Code:74833
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2011-12-14
Last Modified:2012-01-30
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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