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Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. Wheeler has degrees in history, computer science, international relations, and earned a PhD by using Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) to develop three-dimensional, animated maps for studying historical events. During the 19th Century urban rivalry between New York and Boston, small topographic features had large transportation effects that created winners and losers. The bigger surprises come from understanding the timing and motivations for canal and railroad construction – through the act of correctly positioning internal improvements in space and time, we uncover new insights into 19th Century urban rivals, transportation profits, and international trade.