Welcome to the GeoREACH Lab at UPEI

New: Introducing the GeoPEI Prince Edward Island Historical Map Viewer!

Click the image above to try out the GeoPEI a new portal for exploring maps, atlases, aerial photos, and geospatial data pertaining to the history of Prince Edward Island. The GeoPEI portal takes maps that have been digitized on UPEI Robertson Library’s Island Imagined platform, and it overlays them on modern maps of PEI such as satellite images, street grids, and the latest aerial photos produced by the province. It also provides access to the Province’s aerial photographs going back to 1968 and 1935. In the future, users will also be able to find historical data such as the Island’s buildings, properties, roads, and other built infrastructure..

Users may toggle between seven historical maps and aerial photo layers, as well as the 2020 aerial photos and a number of basemaps in the ArcGIS Online viewer. Search for an address or location using the glass at the top left. Next to it are tools for measuring features and changing the basemap. Note, the default basemap (imagery hybrid) keeps the roads and place name labels above the historical layers. This is often helpful for identifying land use change. If you prefer not to see the labels, change the basemap to the plain imagery option. Happy historical mapping! The full url to GeoPEI is https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/9870ec990eaa40069f772b7025fbd18c/

Who We Are

The GeoREACH Lab supports Geospatial Research in Atlantic Canadian History and other projects of the Applied, Communications, Leadership & Culture (ACLC) program in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Prince Edward Island.

The Director of the Lab is Dr. Joshua MacFadyen, Canada Research Chair in Geospatial Humanities and faculty member in the ACLC program.  Dr. MacFadyen’s area of research interest is Digital Approaches to Environmental History, which examines significant social-ecological transitions in Canadian agriculture using innovative digital history and geospatial analysis of case study areas in the Maritime, Eastern Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. It explores how rural Canadians exchanged one energy system for another by mapping the transition from an extensive organic frontier to intensive food and energy systems. By increasing our capacity to understand both the physical transformations of place and their social impacts, this research will help to inform better land use planning, resource co-management, and risk management in the future.

For more about our team, please see our People page.

What We Do

Researchers in the GeoREACH Lab are engaged in a variety of projects, from faculty-directed mapping initiatives to student research assistance on the lab’s core projects. The lab team uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to digitize historical maps and geospatial characteristics of rural food and energy systems in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The lab is also a base for several public engagement projects, from community mapping to the participatory research initiative The Back 50 Project.

To learn more about our current activities, please see the Projects page.

Recent Posts

Top photo: “Farm Scene” (undated), Carter & Co. Limited,
Historic PEI Postcards Collection, UPEI Robertson Library.