SIG Member Survey Results

Over the last few months we have solicited member response to a short survey in which we proposed five activities the SIG might consider undertaking, if there were sufficient interest from its members, including willingness to contribute. While most of the roughly two dozen respondents thought all five were good ideas, three activities in particular would garner the most supporting energy: (1) a committee to study and further peer review mechanisms; (2) developing a list of experts; and (3) curating a collection of GeoHumanities-related syllabi.

The co-chairs are in the process of contacting those members who expressed interest in working on one or more areas, in order to help form related working groups beginning in late July or August, after DH2016.  If you would like to be added to a group, but did not complete the survey, please contact the SIG Co-Chairs (kathy[dot]weimer[at]rice[dot]edu or karlg[at]stanford[dot]edu).

We also received comments and several fine suggestions from survey respondents—loosely grouped into categories below the following results table.

Suggested Activity



Peer Review for GeoHumanities projects. How might the SIG support a peer review process?



Create a list of GeoHumanities experts - SIG members willing to serve as consultants or mentors, or similar capacities.



Curate DH/GeoHumanities syllabi which include or focus on GeoHumanities themes.



Enhance the Humanities GIS project list. This will include adding new listings, as well as enhancing the existing tagging and searching mechanism. 



Enhance the GeoDirt list. This will include adding new tools to the, with descriptions (and optionally, reviews). GeoDirt listings will be automatically ingested by the SIG website.



A number of members commented on these proposed activities, and have also suggested some additional ones.  If any resonate with you, and you would like to discuss propose ways to advance them with SIG members, please send a message to our email listserv, at (note that you must be a list subscriber to post, but it’s easy to subscribe here.


"...match up subgroups within the SIG. E.g. most DH and in my experience also GeoHumanities tend to work with explicit reference to and/or data input that is textually based. This is not my working area and while there is a minimal overlap in approach and challenges, I find it much more difficult to find those people sharing a material, architectural, thematic, or conceptual interest within that core group. Not sure how this would work, also because I'm not sure how large this group is."

"...create some small working groups within the SIG.  I know all too well how hard it is to have the burden of everything fall upon others.  If the Drupal site can be co-curated as well, these working groups will have a chance to feature what it is that they do."

"(Create an online forum). The listserv is fine for announcements, but a forum would allow for actual targeted discussion of the various issues."


"Facilitate networking within the SIG community by means of providing, for instance, an index of the members along with information about their expertise and research/development interests (those who would agree). This initiative may help members to easily identify who is expert on what and the corresponding institution in order to encourage collaboration, e.g. setting up workshops and research mobility proposals. In the long term, it would also support researchers to find future partners for putting together proposals and asking for European or extra-EU funding. I believe my suggestion is somehow related to the creation of a group of GeoHumanities experts."  {essentially, survey item #2}

"Foster networking meetings [...] e.g. like speed-dating towards proposals, joint projects etc."


"(Develop) Programming Historian type tutorials for doing things with geo data and tools."

"(Develop) webinars and/or other training opportunities; could also include short presentations on 'how we did that'."

"Promote better data curation / management / metadata creation practices (from the perspective of humanities spatial inquiry)"


"...create an online calendar of GIS related events - conferences, training etc."

"(Develop a list of geohumanities courses/modules. E.g. {essentially, survey item #3}

"(Develop) a GeoHumanities publication list by discipline? From geographer's point of view, I am interested to learn by publications about what geospatial technology or research methods can be used in humanities. Which disciplines in the humanities are using more geospatial concepts? A simple literature search by the keyword "humanity", "geography" might not be able to bring back all the related publications."

"...while adding new entries to the GeoDirt list, include language information for language-dependent tools (basically NLP and corpus linguistic tools), like for instance a new field 'supported languages: English, French, Serbian, ...' This kind of information is very useful when someone is looking for tools."

"Create a list of historical geographies/shapefiles and gazetteers, if this doesn't already exist somewhere. Maybe this could be integrated into the current project list somehow?"

" by name/label/participation or means (if possible), regional/national events and/or training beyond the DH Conference (which I tend not to frequent due to the relatively great expense and relatively (for me) low relevance of the conference as a whole."


" to encourage more scholars with Humanities GIS and mapping expertise to become involved in reviewing for the DH conference (which) could almost certainly benefit from having more reviewers with expertise in this area and especially more reviewers willing to review abstracts in more than one language...(particularly) French and Spanish abstracts...given the locations of the 2017 and 2018 conferences."

"Foster broad collaboration interdisciplinary bodies e.g. concerning standardisation (UNGEGN group on gazetteers etc.), geographers, cartographers, geo-information etc. --> joint workshop"