Sara Pinto1, Miguel Nogueira1, Monica Wachowicz2, Amélia Polónia1

1. University of Porto, Portugal,

2. Wageningen UR, The Netherlands, 


This paper presents the results from the GIS application design for a network analysis of historical data sources.  The overall research goal is to reveal the mechanisms of cooperation among merchants that tied together the self-organizing commercial networks of the First Global Age (1400-1800). In particular, we have focussed on the network of Simón Ruiz, an important Iberian merchant in the 16th century. In order to achieve that, a new approach was developed for mapping the historical data of commercial networks, having an intrinsic georeferencing component. The GIS application was developed for supporting the spatial visualisation and subsequent exploration of the nodes of such a network, their orientation, extension and intensity. The preliminary results reveal how successfully our proposed approach can be applied to historical data sources, enhancing its analytical potential.