A Review of Digital History Projects

I looked at two sources that used Omeka, the Histories of the National Mall and the Great Molasses Flood. I liked the Histories of the National Mall, it has really nice imaging to go along its different subjects and the map is not too complicated to look at. The map has its points laid out and it is very easy to click on a location, receive information and you also have the option of clicking for more information. The page of a point is divided very simple and smooth to read and it includes the map on the page. For our group project, we want a user-friendly map and the Histories of the National Mall incorporates a layout that is aesthetically easy on the eye.

The Great Molasses Flood has a neat aspect that allows you to look at a newspaper page and different words or sections are highlighted one that one page, however, that is all you can see and the does not give any introduction or background, it is just a map on a page.

For the Rosenzweig Prize Recipients, I looked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Digital Archive: International History Declassified, History and Public Policy Program. The Digital Archive contains viewable government documents from all over the world. The search bar allows filtered searches and the layout of the site itself reminds me of a news letter, but to me, an informational site, such as this, does not need to be too aesthetically appealing, just informative.

For the Digital History Projects, I looked at Map Scholar and Virtual Paul’s Cross Project. Map Scholar uses geospatial visualization to enable the creation of digital atlases. The maps vary by subject. The Vision for American Empire maps how Britain imagined America from 1680s to 1763. In the text, there are highlighted and underlined word(s) or phrase, clicking on them causes the map to zoom into the location that corresponds to the word(s) or phrase. The site itself seems plain and uninformative, but the maps are interactive and well established. The Virtual Paul’s project displays a virtual model of St Paul’s Cathedral and it churchyard. When I first saw the site and it said visual model, I thought of an interactive image that could rotate. Clicking on visual model takes me to a page with pictures of different angles of the cathedral and churchyard, the graphics did not look consistent though.

From the Journal of American History, I looked at Million Dollar Hoods. Million Dollar Hoods focuses on the mass incarcerations in Los Angeles because it contains the largest jail system in the world. The map shows three different departments for one area and that area is divided by district and if you hover over a district, a graph will display the cost of incarceration, number of arrests, days in jail, sex, ethnicity, charges and rankings. This map is a very useful one if people are looking at data over a large span and they need information from a large population.

Looking at these maps has helped me think about what would be helpful for my project and the possible challenges that will come along with it.

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