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
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.
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.
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?