“Visualizing Emancipation organizes documentary evidence about when, where, and how slavery fell apart during the American Civil War.” The red dots below each represent an emancipation event and can be further narrowed by types such as “African Americans Helping the Union” and “African Americans Captured by Union Troops.” The map also allows for Union Troops to be mapped, as well as places of legalized slavery, and a heat map of Emancipation Events.

Emancipation Events

While the project began with xml-encoded texts, they then hired an outside source to develop a mapping application: “Azavea, a Philadelphia-based company specializing in the creation of geographic web software worked closely with the project directors to develop the mapping application. The application uses non-proprietary applications and technologies, including GeoServer, OpenLayers, and javascript to display information in a data-rich, interactive environment. The map employs ESRI’s light gray canvas basemap.”

As I have been unsatisfied with Google Maps’ appearance, I looked into ESRI (although there is much to emulate about this project’s approach, with the ability to toggle different map keys and types of events) and they offer a free personal ArcGIS account that I plan to explore. Also, it may be feasible to purchase a basemap for IMH so that the canvas (and hopefully its markers are less generic than Google Maps currently allows).