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Digital Spatial Resources

On December 6, 2021 Peripheral Histories? hosted a lively virtual roundtable of digital spatial methods for teaching and researching Russian, East European, and Eurasian history. The editors at Peripheral Histories? would like to thank Seth Bernstein, Ihor Doroshenko, and Katja Wezel for sharing their experiences with us. This post contains some of the resources mentioned by the speakers and attendees and serves as a reference for those hoping to undertake similar endeavors.


Books, articles, and existing projects of interest dealing with spatial methods:

A Baltic Pilgrimage in 1912 Story Map.

Copernico: History and Cultural Heritage in Eastern Europe.

George Kennan’s Kamchatka Expedition Story Map.

The Holocaust by Bullets map.

Imperiia Project.

Imperiia Project: Urban Legends.

Knowles, Anne Kelly. 2014. Geographies of the Holocaust.

Measuring Ghettos.

Polian, Pavel. Against their will : the history and geography of forced migrations in the USSR. Budapest: CEU Press, 2004.

Soviet Air Network 1948 animated map by Seth Bernstein.

Tour of the Pühtitsa Icon of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in 1907 Story Map.

GIS Software and Tutorials:

ArcGIS Online: free online mapping software.

ArcGIS Online tutorial.

ArcGIS Story Maps: free online story map software.

ArcGIS Story Maps tutorial.

ArcGIS Pro subscription based professional desktop software that only works on Windows.

ArcGIS Pro tutorial.

QGIS: open source desktop mapping software that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Lincoln Mullen’s Introduction to QGIS.


Help with programming and programming packages for spatial research:

This is an overview of R-packages for mapping.

The Programming Historian tutorials.

Kodiri: learning coding via games.


Digital Resources for Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies or history broadly:

Historical shapefiles.

Heidelberg University shapefile for 1926 USSR census.

Electronic Repository of Russian Historical Statistics.

GeoPortOst: Thematic and Hidden Maps of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.


Та сторона.

Germans from Russia Settlement Locations.


Online Map Collections and Georeferencer:


Indiana University Bloomington Maps: Russian Military Topographic Map Collection.


David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.

MapWarper: free online georeferencing website.

The Russian Geographical Society over the past couple of years has digitized a huge amount of their collection. Unfortunately, the maps are not available to download and aren’t georeferenced, but it can be a very useful resource for looking up details or finding historical place names.


Graphics Software:

GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program – open source image editor akin to Adobe Photoshop.

If you have information to share, please email or reach out to us on Twitter @peripheralhist

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