Humanities in Class Online Courses

The Where of Why: GIS in the Humanities Classroom

Early use of spatial analysis by Dr. John Snow tracking London cholera cases in 1854

Often, when teaching about historical events, there is an over-emphasis on chronology without strong enough consideration given to geography. The use of geospatial technologies allows interactions of place, space, time, and scale to be more obvious, encouraging students to develop the ability to answer not only “where?” but “why there?”

“GIS in the Humanities Classroom” will introduce participants to the transformative power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Over five weeks, the course will detail approaches to embedding geospatial technology in existing classroom instruction, as well as methods for using geography to enrich humanities narratives. By focusing on inquiry-based instruction, the course will provide insights into the ways that GIS tools contribute to a deeper understanding of humanities subjects.

This course has been designed with the generous support of the Virginia Geographic Alliance.

Professional Development Hours: 35

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Fall 2021, Session 2: November 8–December 17
Spring 2022, Session 1: January 24–March 4
Spring 2022, Session 2: March 21–May 6


Sample Activities

  • Introduction to Geoliteracy
  • What is GIS? Mapping the Fate of the Titanic
  • Why New Orleans? Filtering Data
Find more exceptional teaching resources at the Humanities in Class Digital Library, an Open Education Resource (OER) platform. The Digital Library provides direct access to a wide variety of scholarly and instructional resources for the humanities classroom in one central location. Registered members receive a 20% discount on all online courses. Membership is free!