A Microsoft Excel Application for Automatically Building Historical Geography GIS Maps

Michael Polczynski, Georgetown University
Mark Polczynski, Marquette University

Transactions in GIS, Vol. 17, No. 1 (February 2013): 148-157. DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12002.


The ability to visualize location and time information on satellite-generated maps using geographic information systems (GIS) such as Google Earth has enabled researchers with limited mapping expertise to use GIS for a wide range of applications. GIS holds special benefits for research in historical geography involving visualization of events and time-based changes in geographical information. This article describes a Microsoft Excel VBA application which automatically converts information contained in a Microsoft Excel workbook into a.kml (Keyhole Markup Language) file suitable for display by mapping systems such as Google Earth. The application requires no knowledge of KML or Excel VBA. An example illustrates how the application can be used to trace the Mongol invasion of Eastern Europe.