Dynamic maps showing change over time, and combining historical and contemporary data, are one of the most effective means of comprehending, analyzing, and responding to international situations. Benjamin is co-leading the Liechtenstein Institute for Self-Determination's DIRMAIS project to multi-dimensionally visualize and articulate international crisis situations. It seeks to identify how changing (e.g., political) and non-changing (e.g., physical, resource) factors impact conflict origins and priorities, integrating historical trends, linguistics, and topography with current affairs. It is being built in QGIS and ArcGIS, and overlaid in Cesium, the leading open-source three-dimensional globe from AGI.
The Gibraltar Domesday Book
In 1739 Humphrey Bland, Gibraltar's new governor, established a court of land inquiry with James Montresor, the tiny colony's powerful surveyor. Together, they determined to remold Gibraltar into a functional, productive city-colony. Their 100-page domesday survey, now held at the Gibraltar National Archives, provides extraordinary insights into the spatial and cultural organization of this community at the apex of Anglo-Saxon, Spanish and Mediterranean, and Arab civilizations, as well as how local British officials envisioned its development. As an integral part of the dissertation project, the Bland Survey will be brought to life in GIS, shedding valuable information on how the British tried to understand the populations of colonial cities in the eighteenth century.
Surveyors' Global Lives
These geospatial and network analysis techniques are being integrated to visualize the global lives of the surveyors and planners who brought such colonial cities as Gibraltar, Louisbourg, Dunkirk, and Basseterre to life.
Image: Reconstruction of Gibraltar, c. 1750, in QGIS, from the Bland Enquiry and James Montresor's maps, by Benjamin J. Sacks, FRGS.