Diana Stuart Sinton, Ph.D.
Lillian Larsen, Ph.D.
College-level students of Christian scripture face the challenge of critically reading the text while separating it from the familiar theological context. This can be addressed by requiring students to create maps of relevant data, but it raises challenges in cartography, temporal representation and analysis. Students either laboriously hand draw maps or attempt to use web-based tools without much regard to time or spatial analysis. A Geographic Information System (GIS) can help, but the large investment in learning software is often not worth the effort. The Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System (SILAS) is a GIS-based study tool designed to allow students to integrate historical data, edit and annotate geospatial content, and create and print maps. Computer-based GIS technologies, manual techniques, usability issues and integrating text with geography are examined. Initially focused on the four gospels in the New Testament, SILAS can serve as a template for incorporating other texts, Christian and otherwise.
Benzek, S. T. (2008). Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System (SILAS): An Interactive Tool to Study the Narrative Landscape of Ancient Texts (Master's thesis, University of Redlands). Retrieved from http://inspire.redlands.edu/gis_gradproj/8