Department of Geography


Paula Aucott

  • Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, MSc
  • Role Title: Senior Research Associate
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2500
  • Email:
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated with a BA (Hons) from the University of Birmingham and went on to read for an MA at the University of Leicester. I also have an MSc in Geographical Information Systems from the University of Portsmouth. In addition to my research position I am currently a part-time PhD student at Portsmouth.

Since my arrival in Portsmouth I have been part of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project team. During that time I have contributed to numerous research projects. Major projects have included: an EU-funded project to create a time-spatial interface in cultural heritage dynamics, which developed an ontology structure covering all European states since 1815 in a prototype system; the lottery-funded creation of the website “A Vision of Britain through Time”, which presents the history of Great Britain through places over the last 200 years; and in 2007 I became team leader for a JISC-funded project which expanded this website through constructing historical political boundaries, adding election statistics and more digital mapping and creating on-line help tutorials for the site. Most recently I was project manager for the new “Old Maps Online” website, which acts as a portal to digital map collections around the world.


  • Historical GIS - the development of vector GIS material for use with statistics in creating long-running time series for national, regional and local level statistical mapping
  • Administrative Unit ontologies and Historical Gazetteers - the creation and refinement of a structure used to support the use of multiple administrative unit hierarchies and an administrative unit gazetteer within a single database system.
  • Historical Land Use mapping - the smaller grants have mainly been pilot projects which have involved work on historical land use mapping.  This has included evaluating the surviving data, creating and editing digital content and investigating the suitability of automated analysis tools for use with the raster map images.
  • Medieval Landscapes 

My PhD research, inspired by a continuing interest in medieval and landscape history, is focused on using modern spatial analysis techniques to re-examine documentary evidence surviving from the later medieval period. It will consider trade centre locations and their relationship to the relative wealth assessments taken for settlements over time. The application of computer aided analysis and this particular new combination of regional datasets offers the possibility of fresh results. My first supervisor is Dr Alastair Pearson.


Research profile

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

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