Let’s do the mapwarp again!

In class, we used previously attained maps to overlay them on modern day maps using mapwarper.net. Here is my “rectified” map. I originally chose poorly for my map so I had to change mine around. I chose a map of Alabama from 1846 and then placed it on a modern day map of Alabama. It was helpful to map sources we had already read and understood so that when it came time to rectify them, we knew where their points and shapes were. I learned that it is helpful to have some base of knowledge on the subject (so in my case, the state of Alabama) before you begin working and manipulating a map. I however, did not know anything about the state and shape of Alabama, which made geo-rectifying it very difficult.

The navigation and actual application of mapwarper was relatively simple, but when you began editing, manipulating, and touching up the map, the process became rather difficult. Other challenges I faced while working with my map was making the map look “pretty.” Everything that we have looked at and that has been exemplified to us in class looks very put together and professional. Once I warped the map, there was a huge black outline to it and the combination of my poor pin-pointing skills and the map-warping had distorted the map. It was not pretty. I have had to learn in this class that really well done DH projects or just websites in general take a lot of work. Even though the design looks effortless, it usually is not.

I could incorporate the mapwarper.net into my final project by rectifying a map of Fenway Park today over a map of Fenway Park from the year it opened. That way, I could see how the park has changed and expanded over time. I think the advantage rectifying maps has in history/humanities is quite cool and useful. The articles we read this week all stressed how spatial history allows us to explicitly see change, movement, progression, and digression over time. I did not realize how important this is and how DH actually does this. This week’s class really showed me how comparing maps to each other and the different stories maps tell us influence how we see the world. Rectifying maps and spatial history is in fact a very useful tool that helps reignite mapping, cartography, and history into very prevalent and modern areas of study- a concept which people normally don’t agree with.

For my final project, I think a combination of Omeka and Timeline would be sufficient to complete it. My URL will be fenwayahistory.omahahistories.net (or whatever the rest of it is, I could not remember.)


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