Monthly Archives: November 2019

Portfolio Activity 7: Narrative Maps (Construction)

I built a map of James Sterling’s life and the journey he took in order to accomplish fur trade in the U.S. during 1700-1800. First, I created a timeline of important events of James Sterling while I was reading the book. For example, in early 1700s, James Sterling’s birth Ireland; In 1750s, he served in Pennsylvania during French and Indian War. Then, I listed couple events after 1761, when he started to do fur trade business.

After I have listed the timeline, I chose StoryMapJS as a tool to build a map because I found easy to use. However, I could not search location by using the search bar in the website so I have to locate Detroit and other location by myself. In addition, I also uploaded pictures to make the map more interesting to read.

here is link of my map: https://uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/fab27e20ef14824fd82a6e3b75185fc4/james-sterling-fur-trade/index.html

Portfolio Activity 6: Geospatial work

In class, we explored the project The Spread of Slavery in the US by Lincoln Mullen, which is basically a map that shows the spread of U.S. Slavery during 1790-1860. I found that answering historical question by using geospatial visualization is really convenient, geospatial visualization and analysis is an easier way to deliver the message in a geographic space.

Taking an example of The Spread of Slavery in the US by Lincoln Mullen, this multi-dimensional map shows the population, location, and time of slavery in the U.S., it also used ten colors from shallow to dark to represent enslaved population. In addition, I can also click on the map to see a certain area with more details, such as the total enslaved population and free population of Knox, Kentucky. Therefore, I think geospatial visualization and analysis helps readers understand the process of slavery spread in different time and different places more easily than just reading text content.

Considering the pitfalls of geospatial visualization and analysis, using false maps and inaccurate navigation are two of them. Because the map is changing over the time period, so it is important to use the correct one in certain time period.

Portfolio Activity 5: Text Analysis (Construction)

I got 40 topics after I uploaded the American South: North American Slave Narratives to Topic Modeling Tool. Below is a picture of topics from 0 to 26. Among those 40 topics, I chose NO.12 as my topic: bond, water, scott, carver, dr, cotton, sugar, put, add, 1, peanut, make, cut, sweet, gin, seed, plant, corn, potatoes, and milk. Since most of the items are related to food, so I made a hypothesis that this topic is about trading goods. In addition, I also found that “cotton” and “sugar” were products of slavery and slave labor, so I also assume that the topic could be related to slavery goods.

After making the hypothesis, I clicked on the topic and I found there are 204 documents in this topic. I decided to select top 10 documents to put into Voyant because these documents have higher number of word that assigned to this topic. And then here is the data generated from Voyant.

            From the cloud, I selected Top 85 words that appears most frequently in the documents and I was surprised that most words has nothing to do with food, such as ‘time’ (appears 1578 times), ‘man’ (appears 1373 times), ‘mr’ (appears 1548 times), ‘said’ (appears 1467).However, these words seemed meaningless because it had nothing to do with my hypothesis, so I looked into words that has relatively less appearance but might relate to my hypothesis, such as ‘work’, ‘negro’, ‘white’, ‘school’, ‘money’, ‘life’ . Then, I selected some of these words and Voyant generated into a chart below.

From the chart, I didn’t find anything interesting except that the line ‘white’ and ‘negro’ rise and drop together. Then, I also looked into other parts of Voyant.

To conclude, by analyzing data from these documents, I realized that my topic is not about trading goods neither slave produced goods. My topic is about the life of slavery, for example, what they went through as a slave? What was the social environment at that times?