(H)GIS Projects

A GIS (Geografic Information System) is a system designed to capture, store, manage, analyse and present spatial or geografical data. A GIS can also be used to handle past spatial information. Such a system is called HGIS (Historical Geografic Information System).

There are many HGIS platforms. They offer different types of information: one shows a concordance list of old place names and their current location and visualises them according to a geografical coordinate system; another is a database, in which you can find georeferenced old maps. 

Data sets that you can obtain from these platforms can be used in many ways. For example they can be visualized in a web project with leaflet library. Or, with a GIS software such as QGIS you can manage and analyse the data and thereby create a new data set.

For this purpose, it is useful to acquire skills allowing you to create GIS projects, and it is mandatory to check the terms of use for data sets, obtained in online-platforms.

  • 人文学オープンデータ共同利用センター (Center for Open Data in the Humanities). «江戸マップβ版». Accessed Jan 20, 2020. http://codh.rois.ac.jp/edo-maps/ Database of the old place names in Edo (old Tokyo) excerpt from the Edo maps (Edo kiriezu, 江戸切絵図) which provided by National Diet Library. You can search an old place name and let it show in the old maps.  
  • Harvard University. «Japan Map». Accessed Jan. 23, 2020. http://worldmap.harvard.edu/japanmap/ This Map is developed for the Japan Disasters Digital Archive. You can lay diffenrent types of layers on the Japanese map, so as to visualize the Japanese earthquake disaster 2011.
  • 日本版 Map Warper. «ホーム − 日本版 Map Warper». Accessed May 31, 2019. https://mapwarper.h-gis.jp/ Developed by Prof. Yano Keiji at the Ritsumeikan University. This is the Japanese version of the «Map Warper», a georeference software. You'll find many georeferenced maps in this collection.
  • Miyazaki Pref. Lab. «Hinata GIS». Accessed Jan 20, 2020. https://hgis.pref.miyazaki.lg.jp/hinata/ The Information Lab of the Miyazaki Prefecture created an interactive Japanese map. There are many layers such as statistical data, disaster maps, hazard maps, and old maps from Taisho-periods.
  • 人間文化研究機構 (National Institutes for the Humanities). «歴史地名データ». Accessed Jan 27, 2020. https://www.nihu.jp/ja/publication/source_map  National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU) offers a data set for the old place names in Japan. In the CSV file you can freely get the old place names are combined with the geographical coordinates.
  • Midori IT Office. «江戸後期 武蔵・相模国 村名マップ».  Accessed Jan 27, 2020. https://fudoki.midoriit.com/ Midori IT Office visualizes old (in the late Edo period) villages in Musashi (武蔵) and Sagami (相模) countries on the modern map. So you can see which village was where in the contemporary Japan.
  • Kohei Otsuka. «Maplat». Accessed Jan 27, 2020. https://github.com/code4history/Maplat/wiki Maplat is an open source map viewer & editor. You can georeference your old map with the Maplat editor and show it on the comtenporary map without any distortion.
  • 国土交通省国土政策局国土情報課 (National Land Information Division, National Spatial Planning and Regional Policy Bureau, MLIT of Japan ). «国土数値情報ダウンロードサービス (National Land Numerical Information download service).» http://nlftp.mlit.go.jp/ksj-e/index.html National Spatial Planning and Regional Policy Bureau offers data sets of the elementary geographical information on Japan. Available formats are .txt, shape file, and .xml.