The general use of digital maps and mapping has increased dramatically over the last years. Parallel to this boom in mapping the diffusion of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) rose with the ubiquitous use of digital data, devices and the internet. Maps and map-based information are not only everyday companions on our cell-phones, weather and traffic maps, they also move more and more into the focus of the Humanities.
GIS seems particularly attractive for historical research with a strong spatial dimension such as Urban History. GIS has been applied not only for visualizing patterns and structures which have already been analysed by ‘traditional’ methods, but also for the process of building and developing hypotheses through the identification of spatial structures which are not so easily discerned in narrative or tabular form.