Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System (GBHGIS)

Qviz Project

Query and context based visualization of time-spatial cultural dynamics.

May 2006-April 2008

This was an EU funded project working in a consortium of 7 partners from across Europe.


The organisation and presentation of archival information within cultural heritage institutions is so complex it restricts easy access to the material by users.


To examine the issues involved in providing users with a method of exploring the materials available based on a common point of access.  In this instance by employing the administrative units of selected countries as an access point to archival records and communities of practice knowledge.


The aim was to research and create a framework for visualizing and querying archival resources using a time-spatial interface based on maps and emergent knowledge structures.  This framework integrated social software, such as wikis, in order to utilize knowledge in existing and new commuities of practice.  This led to improved information sharing and knowledge creation, easier access to information in a user adapted context and innovative ways of exploring and visualizing materials over time between different countries and their administrative units.

The GBHGIS Project contributed the British data for the system.  This went alongside detailed data for Sweden and Estonia, above which a layer of European states since 1815 was created.  We built the database of administrative units including spatial data and contributed to other facets of the Qviz project.

Consortium Partners

National Archives of Estonia, Estonia
Regio, Estonia
Salzburg Research Forschungsgellschaft, Austria
Swedish National Archive, Sweden
Telefónica I+D, Spain
Umeå University, Sweden
University of Portsmouth, UK

Qviz project website: