Department of Geography


Photo of Dr Alastair Pearson

Dr Alastair Pearson

  • Role Title: Principal Lecturer
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2472
  • Email:
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated from the University of Leeds in 1982 and completed a postgraduate Diploma in Cartography at the University College of Swansea in 1983. I then joined the staff at Portsmouth as Map Librarian and became Head of the Geographical Information Services Unit in 1987 before my appointment as lecturer in 1991. I was awarded my PhD in 1996 and was made Principal Lecturer in 1997.  

Teaching Responsibilities

I deliver human geography and GIS components of the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the department. I contribute to the following units:

  • Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (Level 4)
  • Cartography (Level 5)
  • Applied Spatial Data Analysis (Level 5)
  • GIS in the Workplace (Level 6)
  • Applied GIS (Level 7)

I jointly teach European residential field courses to Malta and Sicily. 


My recent research has concentrated on the history of cartography in the twentieth century, particularly international mapping. I have contributed to the Exploratory Essays Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation of America on the history of cartography in the twentieth century. I am a major contributor to Volume VI of the History of Cartography edited by Mark Monmonier which is to be published by University of Chicago Press in 2014.

I am currently working with Martin Schaefer on the application of non-contact 3D laser scanning techniques to capture and assess the accuracy of solid terrain models and evaluate the potential for using such techniques for archiving cultural heritage.

I maintain a strong research interest in the application of GIS to the study of past agricultural landscapes from the west coast of Pembrokeshire to the flat Fenlands of Cambridgeshire. I have published and presented several papers on the application of GIS to the study of agricultural productivity in the nineteenth century using multilevel modelling techniques. I am currently working on the tithe surveys of West Sussex in collaboration with West Sussex County Record Office.

I am also currently working with Professor Mike Heffernan of University of Nottingham on the historical geographies of internationalism, 1900s-1970s. This research aims to engage with the international as a concept but particularly new forms of cartography during the twentieth century. 


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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