Articles, maps, data, tools

Historical Geocoding Assistant

The “Historical Geocoding Assistant” is an open-sourced browser-based application for geocoding developed in the DISSINET project. It provides scholars with an environment that makes geocoding more convenient, faster, and ultimately more successful in terms of error rate. It is always the scholar who decides on the localization but the application gathers suggestions of coordinates from Wikipedia, GeoNames and other gazetteers that can be used with just one click, allows the user to easily focus on the suggested places, and provides easy access to some useful online services (Google Maps, Google search, Peripleo). This assistance significantly reduces the amount of copy-pasting and switching between browser tabs. Various base maps (including some historical ones) and overlay layers are also integrated. The application works with Google Sheets in real time through your Google Account, i.e. without the need to share your table publicly (but you will need to grant the application permission to access tables through your Google account; this permission does not give anyone else, including the developers, access to your data). Besides the geocoding function, the application implements various auxiliary features; for instance, the user can edit values in all columns of the table.

HGA web application (for direct geocoding of any Google Sheet)
Source code


This section features some interactive and static maps presenting data collected or transferred into digital form within the DISSINET project or a partly related project “GIS for the History of Christianity”.  We are interested in the places of dissident activities and places of origin or residence of people suspected of heresy as well as in the spatial distribution of the official Church infrastructure and of medieval religious communities displaying some similarities or historical links to dissident religious cultures.

Lollards, 1414–1522

This interactive map is based on the Lollard trials. It shows the places of origin of English dissidents under investigation for taking part in the revolts of 1414 or 1431, related to Lollardy, or holding various heretical opinions that are commonly referred to as Lollard. In addition, it shows in which of these places the owners of unauthorised English religious books were uncovered. A total of 260 sites were transferred from the Atlas zur Kirchengeschichte by Jedin et al., based on the research of J. A. F. Thomson and J. Fines. The plotted sites indicate only the presence of suspected Lollards and revolt participants, not their numbers or importance.

Interactive map
Dataset online
Data sources: Thomson, 1965; Fines, 1964; Jedin et al., 1970.
Digitized and geocoded by Jan Král.
Map by Adam Mertel.

Cathar endura

This static map displays all known specific instances of Cathar premortal fasting (endura) which could be localized. The size of the map symbol indicates the number of cases.

Dataset online
Data compiled and geocoded by David Zbíral.
Map by Adam Mertel.

Maps from related projects

Christian baptisteries, 3rd–12th centuries

This interactive map visualizes a dataset of Christian baptisteries built between the 3rd and 12th centuries. The dataset represents a digital adaptation and formalization of the most complete catalogue of baptisteries by Sebastian Ristow. Of all 1067 buildings in Ristow’s catalogue, this map takes into account only those whose existence and function as baptisteries is considered certain or very probable by Ristow and which, at the same time, could be localised.

Interactive map
Data source: Ristow, 1998.
Digitized and geocoded by Hana Hořínková.
Map by Adam Mertel.


The DISSINET team maintains a publicly accessible collaborative bibliography in Zotero. You can either browse the  bibliography online or, if you use Zotero, go to Zotero website, find the group “Dissident Networks Project”, join the group, and use the bibliographic records directly in Zotero desktop application (browse, search, copy, expand, reorganize, etc.). The main areas covered are social network analysis, historical network research, digital humanities, historical GIS, and medieval heresy, inquisition, society, economy and demography. We plan to gradually enrich this Zotero bibliography with records from David’s older textual bibliographies concerning the inquisition and various medieval dissident cultures.

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