Creating Maps

Learning how to create these different maps has been an interesting journey to say the least. Some more difficult than others, but I do have say that Google Maps and Story Maps are by far the most fun to create.

Making these maps really peaked my interest, as someone with ADHD I tend to lose focus on a topic quite fast. Being hands on an learning how to create these has help substantially. Not to mention as a reader or an audience member looking at an interactive or moving map would peak my interest. Richard White wrote,  “Digital history allows the exploitation of kinds of evidence and data bases that would be too opaque or too unwieldy to use without computers. It is all the stuff that we cannot narrate, or at least narrate without losing our audience. ” This doesn’t ring more true, than with an audience such as myself. With an audience like myself growing around the world, learning to incorporate interactive or moving features is necessary in a digital environment, especially in a digital learning environment.


Above you see a CartoDB Map, this map is a moving map that currently depicts data provided by our professor about Amsterdam. Although this map was fairly easy to create, it doesn’t currently suit my interests for my project. This map form is used to depict data information and relay it in a much more simplistic display, instead of you looking at a spreadsheet with numbers. This map would be very useful in depicting economic trends around the world, or even the death tolls of covid in different countries. If I would making a website or a post that required that type of data that needed to be expressed to my audience, this is the map I would use. 

Although this map is moving, and slightly interactive with the audience, it does lack a sense of easy to determine information. If a map like this was displayed on someone’s web page or post, it would be very hard to figure out what data it is depicting without doing further investigation.

Google Maps

So I loved working with Google Maps in class.  These maps are easy to create and modify. They allow you to import a significant amount of data and display it automatically for you. These maps allow for pictures and text to where you can create a map with locations strictly depicting information about your topic or interest. For instance, say you just want to make a virtual address book, you could sit there and input each friends address with a picture of that friend with information about them such as birthday, phone number, etc. The good this about all these maps is you can make them private too, so no one other than you and who you allow to share it with have access.

This map allows for great modification with very little ease like I mentioned before. It has tools you can use to edit and personalize your map. You can add multiple images to each pinpoint, you can even change the look and color of pinpoints. With a previous Google Map I even embedded links that once you clicked on them they would open you up to a new tab. Google Maps makes for a very versatile tool and to me would seem like a popular choice among web site creators and bloggers. 

This map would very much suit my needs for my topic for my final project. However I chose to go with the next map instead.

Story Map Skill

Story Maps are super simple to make. The creator of story maps made it easy for someone to create an interactive map with pictures, and short summaries of each point. Although it doesn’t allow you to make too many modifications to the map, it does  glide through each point with ease. It is almost like creating a geographical timeline that depicts a story. 

Pictured above is a story map that I started for my final project. It currently depicts three of the notorious insane asylums around America. This map was super easy to make and helped to create a lot of visual aesthetics for my project. It gives off a slideshow presentation vibe but with a more upscale design, which is perfect when you are making a project directed with a specific topic and want to relay a ton of information to your audience without overloading them.

As I said before, being a person with extreme ADHD, having an interactive map like this helps on so many levels. It is guaranteed to peak my interest.

Luckily I was just able to figure out the Google Earth/Warper Map. At first the site would not allow me to access it. However, this map it allows you to take a map such as your Google Map and place control points on it. Then it allows you to take a lets say older map of the same area and overlay it. Once overlaid it allows you to warp them together, hence the name Map Warper. We took an older map of Canterbury in England and a new map of Canterbury and pin pointed some of the geographical locations. Then we warped them together. Once warped we opened it on Google Earth and there you have it, the warped map pictured above!

Although this map would not have been ideal for my project I could definitely see someone using it to depict the changes of a town’s geographical structure with buildings and such over time.

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