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Roberts and Wrathmell's Atlas of Rural Settlement in England now available as GIS dat
English Heritage is pleased to announce the release of GIS-ready data derived from the maps of 19th century rural settlement and terrain originally published in Brian K Roberts and Stuart Wrathmell's An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England.

Since its publication by English Heritage in 2000, Roberts and Wrathmell's Atlas has become a key point of reference for understanding the development of rural settlement in England. The maps in the original, printed Atlas were produced digitally, but were created as graphics files which cannot be used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or similar programmes. GIS software is now widely used in the management and study of the historic environment, and many people have access to 'geobrowser' software. English Heritage wanted to make it possible to use Roberts and Wrathmell's materials in interactive, spatially-aware digital formats, enabling users to examine, query and re-interpret Roberts and Wrathmell's results in new ways.

Using copies of the graphics files supplied by Prof Roberts, Andrew Lowerre and Eddie Lyons constructed the spatial and attribute data that can be used in GIS software and viewed in 'geobrowsers' like the Google Earth* mapping service. They also prepared detailed documentation and metadata (i.e., data about the data). The documentation and metadata describe the various layers in the data collection and the processes by which the graphics files were converted. The GIS data are available in two formats: Esri Shapefile and Google/Open Geospatial Consortium KMZ.

The data, metadata and documentation can now be downloaded from the following web page:

To get a copy of the data collection on CD, please contact the Enquiry and Research Services Team at the National Monuments Record (<>). In addition, all of the Historic Environment Records (HERs), Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs) and Urban Archaeological Databases (UADs) in England using GIS software have been sent copies of the Atlas GIS data collection.

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