This chapter discusses the advantage of the availability of Western Canada sources in digital format and incorporates them into new approaches and methodologies. It focuses on the timing and the movement of the frontier of settlement through the analysis of the expansion of the postal and railroad networks from the 1850s to 1900. It describes sources, methodologies and the use of geographical information systems (GIS) in spatial historical analysis. The chapter discusses the influence of the postal and railroad systems in the building of the Canadian state, with emphasis on Western Canada expansion. The use of GIS in economic historical analyses is enhancing the scope and broadening historical inquiries across disciplines. The formation of the Canadian modern state from the 1850s to Confederation in 1867 and from 1867 to 1900 marked a radical spatial transformation. The Canadian pacific railway published its own maps reflecting the extension of the rail network or the proposed extension.