Spatial Humanities

The Digital Atlas of American Religion (DAAR) is a product of the Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities, of which we serve as lead partner. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, DAAR presents ways for scholars to examine data at varying scales and with multiple dimensions.

For studies using data from the US census, voting statistics, or any other spatially-referenced data, the tools permit researchers to group and map categories easily and in new ways or to aggregate data by user-defined classifications. The tools enhance GIS to make maps more complex, more visually dynamic, and more easily interpreted.

BACKGROUND: One of our earliest projects as members of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative was the North American Religion Atlas (NARA), a historical GIS that allowed users to map U.S. religious censuses interactively. NARA was widely used in colleges and seminaries and served as the mapping engine for an 8-volume study of American religion, available for purchase through Alta Mira Press.

Watch this introductory video to learn more about DAAR, and visit the website ( to try it for yourself!