Spatial projects locate objects, people, sites, or ideas in relation to each other. Network projects also often deal with relationships, but in spatial projects concepts of distance, physical proximity, or geographic location are critical. Although typically spatial projects will use geographic coordinates or measured distances, some projects, especially those dealing with historic content, will rely on other evidence of relative physical position and orientation. In such cases, spatial projects often have a goal of helping determine or refine geographic locations from other types of evidence. Frequently, the goal is to produce a map, but it is also common for spatial projects to create other outputs, like tables of quantitative location data or narrative tours of a place or region.
Spatial projects can be used for information gathering, for exploratory or analytical research, or to present the results from research. The choice of tools will change depending on the type of starting content and the goals of the project. Typical projects include georeferencing historical maps, plotting travel, or determining relationships between events that are described in narrative sources.
If you are working on a project dealing with the reconstruction of a building or object, look at the dimensional projects guide. While spatial and dimensional projects can share research questions, content, and outcomes (as you may find with some of the assignments and case studies below), the digital methods used for spatial and dimensional projects cover such a broad range that we feel it important to separate them into two project types. Overall, spatial projects are more likely to be concerned with patterns, pathways, or sets of data, while dimensional projects are more likely to focus on a single site or structure.
Some key issues: dealing with inaccurate or inconsistent data (especially for georeferencing) and deciding on degrees of specificity, deciding on interactivity vs. narrative coherence
Currently under peer review.