GIS Resource Page
GIS is an acronym for Geographic Information Systems. Basically,
GIS is a compilation of data that can be used to make maps. Through months
of research and data construction, we have compiled a collection of free
temporal GIS data for anybody to download to make their own historic maps.
Using our data, anyone can customize their own maps of historic periods.
This is especially useful for teachers who want to make their own overheads
or test materials. We caution teachers to read our disclaimer before relying on our data for such
Aside from the potentially confusing technical terms, using
GIS data is not very difficult. Most of the work is already done for you
by the creator(s) of the GIS data being used. To get started, all you need
is a copy of ArcExplorer, which can be downloaded from ESRI.
Version 2 is a 12.8 MB download, while the new Java Version (Version 4) is
15.7 MB. Either version will function with our data, but we recommend the
smaller file for those with slow internet connections or limited harddrive
space. There is also a web version, but we haven't tested it yet.
Once you have downloaded ArcExplorer, you should proceed
to our GIS download page. To use the data, unzip
it into any folder on your computer. Then, when running ArcExplorer, simply
select "Add Theme" or hit the button icon that looks like a plus sign. If
you navigate to the correct folder on your system, you should see a file
by the name of the year of the data set you downloaded. Select it and you
are ready to customize your own map! Remember, hitting F1 will always bring
up a help menu, but you may also contact us with
any major problems you may be experiencing.
ESRI and the ESRI Logo are licensed trademarks of Environmental
Systems Research Institute, Inc.