Building the Salem Witchcraft GIS

Progress and Upcoming Work

Completed Work on the Salem Witchcraft GIS Project

  • Test Digitizing of Upham Map (September 1999)
  • Export of data to Macromedia Generator (October 1999)
  • Creation of demos of legal activity in March 1692, and of Putnam Family relationships (October 1999)
  • Research on Control Points for Upham (November 1999)
  • Registration of Upham Map (December 1999)
  • Georeferenced Digitization of Upham Map (January 2000)

For more information on the completed work, see the Technical Documentation.

Upcoming Work on the Salem Witchcraft GIS Project

There are several aspects to this project on the immediate horizon:

Building the Database of Salem Witchcraft Participants (Expected completion: July 2000)
Over the course of the coming year Ben Ray will be working with staff at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities to develop the database tracking the demography, kinship, and legal activity of the persons playing a role in the Salem trials. This data will be matched with this geographic data. This database will allow us to study the demography, kinship patterns, and temporal patterns in the drama in Salem.

Because data will be recorded at the level of the person, and our GIS data is based on geographic features, there will be a one-to-many relationship between the geographic data and this demographic/temporal database.
Pereley/Freeman map: Researching Control Points (Expected completion: February 2000)
We have identified existing features on the Perley/Freeman map, and are now working through our source data, and consulting with other organizations, to develop a precise set of controls for registration of this map. These control points will be added to those developed for Upham to create an overall control coverage for the region. Once the controls have been established, the Pereley/Freeman map will be registered and rectified.
Building Related GIS layers: Other Historic Sites (Expected completion: May 2000)
We anticipate creating related layers of related historical sites based on David C. Brown, A Guide to the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 and other sources. We also anticipate working closely with Richard Trask at the Danvers Archival Center to pinpoint other historic features not already visible on Upham's map.