When first reading Richard White’s post on spacial history, and the enormous undertaking it is to accomplish, I was a bit confused. I had never heard of it before, which really was a shame because it is such a massive project, that you would think there would be a bit more of a buzz about it in History courses. Spacial history operates with the idea that space is not based on natural geography, nor is it simply a vacuum in which history happens in, but something that humanity produces itself. It seems a very heady concept to grasp, but to put it simply it is the study of the history of space, and what influences it, politically, culturally, economically, ect. The spacial history project is a way of mapping these events and occurrences, happening over the course of human existence, and to say that this is a substantial task seems to be somewhat of a gross understatement. Richard explains that there are multiple people working on it from all over the world, and its easy to think that this type of collaborative mass project would not be possible without the advent of the internet age. Even while reading the description, I was sort of reminded of Wikipedia, in that that too is a massive bank of constantly growing information, except with the Spacial History Project, you don’t have the additional hazard of the unreliable contributor nearly as often as on Wikipedia. It is an overall fascinating take on transforming the way historians are looking at history and I’m very excited for the continuing development of the project.
Interested in reading more? Read White’s article for yourself