Associate Professor Stefan Leyk has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for his project entitled "III: Medium: Collaborative Research: Exploiting Context in Cartographic Evolutionary Documents to Extract and Build Linked Spatial-temporal Datasets". This interdisciplinary collaborative project involving researchers and their students at University of Southern California and University of Colorado, Boulder will develop a set of open-source technologies and tools that allow users to extract map features from a large number of map sheets and track changes of features between map editions in a Geographical Information System. The resulting open-source tools will enable exciting new forms of research and learning in history, demography, economics, sociology, ecology, and other disciplines. The data produced by this project will be made publically available and through case studies integrated with other historical archives. Spatially and temporally linked knowledge covering man-made and natural features over more than 125 years holds enormous potential for the physical and social sciences. The wealth of information contained in these maps is unique, especially for the time before the widespread use of aerial photography. The ability to automatically transform the scanned paper maps stored in large archives into spatio-temporally linked knowledge will create an important resource for social and natural scientists studying global change and other socio-geographic processes that play out over large areas and long periods of time.
NFS Award Abstract #1563933