Extending the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) for longitudinal historical databases to include geographic data

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The Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) is a standardised database structure for longitudinal historical databases. Such a common structure facilitates data sharing and comparative research. In this study, we propose an extended version of IDS, named IDS-Geo, that also includes geographic data. The geographic data that will be stored in IDS-Geo are primarily buildings and/or property units, and the purpose of these geographic data is mainly to link individuals to places in space. When we want to assign such detailed spatial locations to individuals (in times before there were any detailed house addresses available), we often have to create tailored geographic datasets. In those cases, there are benefits of storing geographic data in the same structure as the demographic data. Moreover, we propose the export of data from IDS-Geo using an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Schema. IDS-Geo is implemented in a case study using historical property units, for the period 1804 to 1913, stored in a geographically extended version of the Scanian Economic Demographic Database (SEDD). To fit into the IDS-Geo data structure, we included an object lifeline representation of all of the property units (based on the snapshot time representation of single historical maps and poll-tax registers). The case study verifies that the IDS-Geo model is capable of handling geographic data that can be linked to demographic data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-46
JournalHistorical Life Course Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History
  • Physical Geography


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