HLAmap Case Study - Local Studies

Introduction

Local studies rely on the bringing together of a huge variety of resources, so that specific places and wider landscapes can be better understood. Learning more about the present and the recent past usually involves researching sources on the web and elsewhere, reviewing the wealth of images and documents, books and journals, films and sound recordings, maps and newspapers that is available. HLAmap can be very useful too. It reveals how the land is used today and can inform decisions about fieldwork.

For those who are interested in the ways in which livelihoods have changed over a much longer period of time, various sources, both historical and archaeological, exist. HLAmap is extremely relevant to these studies. It reveals where there is visual evidence today of previous land uses from across the centuries. The digital map shows such changes as layers through time, just as they are on the ground. This information can be particularly useful when out-and-about for geographical, archaeological, historical and environmental studies. 

Using HLA data

This case study provides easy to follow guidance on how to use HLAmap in local studies, by focusing on the landscape around Meigle in Angus. The potential is clear.

  • Modern land uses are immediately apparent, with distinct details revealed as the map is investigated (see left side of map extract)
  • Areas where there is evidence for past land uses are highlighted (as is indicated in the far right of the map extract)
  • Summary information about the numerous land uses is available at a click of the mouse
  • Additional archaeological site data can be viewed and interrogated, providing links to other resources that might be useful

A fundamental aspect of local studies is understanding the geography and history of a place or area. HLA provides a very useful foundation for studies relating both to local places and broad landscapes. It can give an insight into particular avenues of research, including historic, cultural, economic and present-day aspects of urban and rural Scotland.

Open and download the pdf for the full Case Study