About TLCMap

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

U Newcastle logo, white on black. U Curtin logo, white on beige U Edith Cowan logo, multicoloured U Melbourne logo, blue on white U South Australia, blue on white U Technology Sydney logo, black on white U Alberta Logo, green on white

Time Layered Cultural Map is funded by the Australian Research Council, PROJECT ID: LE190100019

Take our quick 8 question survey on Humanities mapping needs.

For questions and comments please email tlcmap@newcastle.edu.au

TLCMap enables humanities researchers to build digital maps, with pathways from beginner to advanced.

TLCMap provides access to platforms for humanities researchers to use, create and integrate datasets and to create interactive visualisations, specifically for Humanities' epistemological and methodological needs.

Working within the ever evolving ecosystem of mapping software we are integrating with existing software and developing new tools and techniques to make common tasks easier and new things possible.

Digital map making is a growing area in humanities. Digital maps help answer research questions, turn research outcomes into research tools for others, and are an interactive and visual way to involve and engage the community.

TLCMap is an online research platform to deliver researcher driven national-scale infrastructure for the humanities, focused on mapping, time series, and data integration.

The TLCMap will expand the use of Australian cultural and historical data for research through sharply defined and powerful discovery mechanisms, enabling researchers to visualise hidden geographic and historical patterns and trends, and to build online resources which present to a wider public the rich layers of cultural data in Australian locations.

TLCMap is not a singular project or software application with a defined research outcome; it is infrastructure linking geo-spatial maps of Australian cultural and historical information, adapted to time series and will be a significant contribution to humanities research in Australia. For researchers, it will transform access to data and to visualisation tools and open new perspectives on Australian culture and history. For the public, it will enable increased accessibility to historical and cultural data through visualisations made available online and in print.

Humanities researchers are faced with a bewildering array of software, some established, some not, designed for a wide variety of tasks, some with similar functionality and varying degrees of effectiveness. Often a project would require the expense of employing a software developer for an extended period. We aim to provide easy entry points, based on different research needs and to ensure there is a way to progress to more advanced systems as the idiosyncratic needs of a Digital Humanities project emerge.

One of the main challenges to digital mapping infrastructure for research and humanities is the tendency for project software to be abandoned once results are acquired and the funding runs out. A great deal of value is lost as such software is often not made re-usable. At the same time, infrastructure investments often struggle to find users and projects and risk becoming, 'Solutions in search of problems'.

Deb Verhoeven's definition of 'infrastructure' provides a good way to understand what we are aiming to achieve - ‘the conditions of possibility for certain types of activity’. Rather than being a research project we aim to establish the conditions of possibility for Humanities Researchers to use Digital Maps for their research.

To demonstrate the effectiveness and inform the development process pilot projects are being implemented with TLCMap integrated systems:


HASS Devl / tinker






Prof Paul Arthur

Edith Cowan University

  • FloraCultures
  • Western Australian Aboriginal Journey Ways
  • ECU Art Collection
  • Analyse, visualise, disseminate

Prof Erik Champion

Curtin University

  • Visualising Geo-Located Images
  • Historical Image Classification
  • Feature Matching the SLWA Collection
  • Face detection
  • Text extraction
  • Metadata parsing to auto detect data and geolocation

EProf Hugh Craig

University of Newcastle

  • Mapping domestic violence
  • Mapping goldfields newspaper articles
  • Visualise spatial and temporal data on domestic violence
  • Map and study newspaper articles on Australian goldfields

Prof Ning Gu

University of South Australia

  • UniSA Smart Cities
  • South Australian built cultural heritage (Burra townships and/or Torrens River)
  • South East Asian built cultural heritage (post-disaster reconstruction)
  • UniSA Smart Cities to include map-based large-scale spatial awareness
  • Expand and disseminate information and awareness on South Australian built cultural heritage
  • Create databases on South East Asian built cultural heritage to aid post-disaster reconstruction

AProf Mark Harvey

University of Newcastle

  • Indigenous Spatial Heritage
  • Aboriginal Place Names and Ethnobiology
  • Make existing Aboriginal spatial heritage data more accessible from a single access point

Prof Victoria Haskins

University of Newcastle

  • The NSW Aborigines Protection/Welfare Board: A History
  • Intimacy and Violence in Anglo Pacific Rim Settler Colonial Societies
  • Build a database with spatiotemporal data
  • Display the data as a map with a timeline and show mobility

Prof Andrew May

University of Melbourne

  • Encyclopedia of Melbourne
  • Make Encyclopedia of Melbourne data more open to research and exploratory visualisation with maps and timelines
  • Immersive environments
  • Collection liberated content
  • Digital storytelling

Prof Lyndall Ryan

University of Newcastle

  • Colonial Frontier Massacres
  • Extend Colonial Frontier Massacres map to be usable for similar projects, internationally
  • Ensure certain types of online data remains secure
  • Workflows for collaborators to maintain data

Prof Ros Smith

University of Newcastle

  • Dark Places: True Crime In Australia
  • Early Modern Women And The Poetry Of Complaint
  • Map literary true crime sites
  • Map redaction, reception, publication, etc.
  • Map relationships related to literature

Dr Alana Piper

University of Technology Sydney

  • Map historical crime data

Prof Deb Verhoeven (Partner Investigator)

University of Alberta, Canada

  • HuNI Greek and Italian diasporic cinema
  • Digital infrastructure design for humanities
  • Overlay multiple data types such as public transport, road, local business and demographic data
  • HuNI will be a delivery platform
  • Interoperability with HuNI
  • HuNI to aggregate heterogeneous data from independent sources
  • HuNI to allow keyword, spatial and temporal discovery

Some development, along with research will occur at participating institutions. The central development team is:

Bill Pascoe

System Architect

Alice Jackson

Project Manager

Matt Coller

Snr Front End Developer (Temporal Earth)

Zongwen Fan

Developer (TextMapText / Regito)

Kaine Usher


Ben McDonnell

Developer (Gazetteer)

Dan Price

Development, Content and Testing