Map Visualization

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Map visualizations, like the one shown above, provide a much better medium to view events than a static map printed in a textbook or on a poster. Because of its digital nature, you can connect documents to the map and automatically populate locations and details about those locations. The interactivity of the map allows viewers to click on a point and instantly view details about it as well as view connections between points in the same way. Since history is rarely static in location, these interactive maps are invaluable as a tool for digital history. The maps can also be animated in a way that mimics a guided tour, which makes these maps much better tools to tell stories as well. A digital map can be automatically populated with information just by linking it to other documents, whereas a physical map must be populated by hand. The points on digital maps can also be dynamically linked by time or by relevance, and by method of travel, simply by checking different boxes. Again, a physical map must be changed by hand, and may only feature one connection method since it is permanent. Physical maps do have some advantages however, and they include the fact that physical maps persist as long as the medium they’re printed on. Digital maps can be deleted simply by shutting down the server they reside on, and they are limited to areas with internet access. They can be used as very powerful storytelling tools, but these disadvantages limit their audience in a way that makes them difficult to incorporate into historical projects.

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