The Project

‘Geospatial Innovation in the Digital Humanities’ is the most recent in a series of interrelated projects. The first of these, ‘Mapping the Lakes’ (Lancaster University, 2006–2007), used Geographic Information Systems (or GIS) technology to examine the Lakeland journeys of the poets Thomas Gray and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The second project, ‘Spatial Humanities: Texts, Place, GIS’ (Lancaster University, 2012–2016), built on this work by developing and applying methodologies for analysing unstructured texts—including a large corpora of historical Lake District tour books and guidebooks—within a GIS environment.

‘Geospatial Innovation’ extends this research by exploring how these methods can be used to expand or alter understandings of the literary and cultural history of the Lakes region. Our work applies different disciplinary perspectives to the study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century accounts of the Lake District. In doing so, we aim to generate new insights about the cultural geography and literature of the Lake District.

The project’s outputs will include the design and development of a digital deep map of the Lake District. This resource will exemplify how traditional research methods can be combined with new approaches to expand the range and enhance the quality of humanities research.

We will put this research methodology into practice in a range of publications including two book-length studies. These monographs will use contrasting, yet complementary, approaches to literary texts to demonstrate how the materials from the deep map can make specific contributions and, furthermore, consider how this project’s approach can be utilised in diverse research contexts.