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Sponsored Research

The Billion Object Platform (BOP)

With funding from the Sloan Foundation and Harvard Dataverse, the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) has developed a prototype spatio-temporal visualization platform dubbed "the BOP" (Billion Object Platform). The first goal of the BOP is to provide the Dataverse platform with an API-accessible big data exploration tool which can support streaming data.

Spectrometry-derived Ecosystem Composition

Recent technological advances in remote sensing are moving terrestrial ecosystem monitoring beyond land cover change mapping, in the form of imaging spectrometry able to detect light intensity from tens to hundreds of contiguous spectral bands, providing more resolved information on ecosystem composition.

Linked Places: Modeling Historical Movement

The Linked Places Project provides both a conceptual model and practical schema for "historical movement."   Building upon, and funded by a resource commons grant from Pelagios, (the Linked Open Data platform for historical places and historical collections), the Linked Places project seeks to define the fundemental entities and relationships for historical routes, journeys, itineraries, and flows of goods.

Global Spatio-Temporal Search: NEH Funded Enhancements to WorldMap

Though millions of geo-service layers exist just a click away, there is no good way to discover most of them. In the early days of the web it was hard to find a web page; this situation holds today for most geo-data.

With a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the CGA is building a platform to create, maintain, and deploy a global public registry of web map services, and has developed a new visual interface to support searches by time and space.  The technology can scale to millions, even billions of objects.

G. W. Skinner Regional Systems Analysis

An archive of the datasets developed for the Regional Systems Analysis laboratory, under the direction of G. William Skinner.

The core datasets, including GIS layers and tabular data, are being preserved in a repository on DataVerse.

The archived materials demonstrate the methodology of Skinner's Regional Systems Analysis, dealing with the Levels in Urban Hierarchy (LUH), Urban-Rural Continuum values (URC), and the delineation of Core Periphery Zones (CPZ).  

Temporal Gazetteer

The Temporal Gazetteer (TGAZ) is a search engine and machine-readable API for historical placenames.  Built upon toponymic databases of historical placenames from the China Historical GIS, the Toponimika - Historical Gazetteer of Russia, and the Gazetteer of Historical Monasteries in Greater Tibet, the TGAZ system architecture provides a method for integrating historical plac

Rusian Genealogy Map

The Rusian Genealogy Map is an attempt to render visually the dynastic connections made between the ruling family of Rus’ (the Volodimerovichi) and the rest of medieval European royalty in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The information represented on the map comes from the Rusian Genealogical Database (genealogy.obdurodon.org) compiled by Christian Raffensperger, with technical assistance by David J. Birnbaum. Both projects highlight the extreme interconnectivity of Rus’ with the rest of medieval Europe and are part of a larger goal of reimagining medieval Europe.

China Historical GIS

The CHGIS project has produced a comprehensive series of datasets related to the administrative geography of Chinese History. The data layers include nationwide coverages (for the years 1820 and 1911), and time series (for the Dynastic period from 221 BCE to 1911 CE). The administrative features include Provinces, Circuits, Prefectures, and Counties as they changed over time. Supplemental datasets include G.W. Skinner regional systems, Buddhist sites, features from historic Russian maps of China, Tibetan townships, modern gazetteer layers for each province, and many others.

Mapping for the Out of Eden Walk project

The Out of Eden Walk is a 21,000-mile journalistic endeavor to create a global record of human life at the start of a new millennium as told by villagers, nomads, traders, farmers, soldiers, and artists who rarely make the news.  Sponsored and hosted by National Geographic Society, the project is led by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Paul Salopek who is walking the path of human migration across the globe, and recording what he encounters in the form of writing, photographs, video, and audio.