Publication Date


Committee Chair

Diana Stuart Sinton, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Lillian Larsen, Ph.D.


The Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System Study Tool (SILAS.ST) follows in the tradition of the original SILAS, developed by Stephen Benzek (MS GIS Cohort 12). This second phase of SILAS focuses on the educational functionality of the application. With SILAS.ST, students can overlay and juxtapose information from multiple sources and explore and document the historical information for each source brought into ESRI’s ArcGIS, a geographic information system (GIS). Current geographic metadata standards are not suitable for documenting historical sources in GIS, and often they are too cumbersome for students who are new to GIS and metadata. SILAS.ST has been fitted with its own metadata standard for the purpose of documenting historical geographic data. When students fill out and share information in the metadata forms, they will better understand the historical relevance and uncertainty inherent in the maps they create and the map layers they encounter when studying historical topics. Students will also learn how to document historical sources using the custom metadata, easing the transition from critiquing textual sources to evaluating visual map layers. Additional customization of the ArcMap user interface, such as custom toolbars, buttons and direct access to the new metadata forms, will aid in the introduction of digital mapping technologies to humanities students. SILAS.ST has earned the Association of American Geographer’s (AAG) Amy Mather New Scholar Award for 2009, which honors students for their outstanding contribution to the field of Biblical Geography.

King_Poster.pdf (67664 kB)
Building a GIS for Interpreting History Using SILAS.ST, the Spatially Interactive Literature Analysis System Study Tool (Poster)