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<nettime> The Salem Witchcraft GIS
ben moretti on Thu, 10 Oct 2002 09:39:20 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The Salem Witchcraft GIS

While we are discussing remote sensing....GIS usually has such a nice 
reductionist, desktop social engineering feel to it. Just like 


>The Salem Witchcraft GIS
>A Visual Re-Creation of Salem in 1692
>By Mike Furlough, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center
>Primary Researcher: Benjamin Ray, University of Virginia
>The GIS of "Salem Village in 1692" is part of an electronic Research Archive
>of primary source materials related to the Salem witch trials of 
>1692. The purpose
>of the GIS is twofold:
>First, the GIS gives visual representation of the social context of the witch
>trials episode by placing the nearly 300 people mentioned in the court records
>in their actual household locations in the Village. When completed, 
>the database
>will hold the location of over 150 family households in Salem and surrounding
>communities. The documents also refer to conflicts between neighbors in the
>Village and to kinship ties among various families in the Village.
>Such relationships are more easily grasped when the locations of the family
>members and households are displayed on a map. Important property 
>disputes stand
>in the background of the Village's experience, among families later caught up
>in the witchcraft trials, and the map shows the disputed property boundries.
>Since the beginning of historical studies in the 19th century, scholars have
>used maps has the foundation of their interpretations of the causes 
>of the conflict.
>This GIS will enable new forms of mapping to further study of the conflicts
>in Salem.
>Second, the GIS is also able to represent in graphic form important 
>information, such as age, gender, frequency of accusations by 
>various individuals,
>family relationships, relative wealth of accusers and accused -- all of which
>have played an important role in scholars' interpretations.


ben moretti
bmoretti {AT} chariot.net.au

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