Map Interfaces

While many scholars who work with Concord discuss the importance of location, physical structures and landscape, there remains a limitation in the way that textual materials might be explored. Given the importance of the location, geography and landscape of Concord, a visual means of addressing the humanities information allows for interesting possibilities and should provide new ways of researching the related areas. The CDA is testing the use of interactive map interfaces for scholarly searching of the archive.

One of several interfaces planned for the archive, the map interface will allow scholars to interpret location and geography in a new manner, representing the possibilities of applying technology to a traditional body of texts. The initial interface modifies a Google Maps conversion that allows the user to manipulate a contemporary map, satellite images, and a hybrid of the two marked with Concord buildings and sites. The map includes various geolocated sites and images of contemporary Concord buildings and locations.

Interactive Contemporary Concord Map based on a Google map manipulation

Upon development it was clear that the Google map was a first attempt and needed to be far more robust. Accordingly, the next phase of the map interface project is a partnership with the Map/GIS Library team at Texas A&M that will allow the development of a more sophisticated map that allows users to manipulate time and place as well as to sift the materials to locate textual data. The GIS based map configured in Google Earth will also allow us to overlay numerous historical maps. Our initial map model overlays an 1852 map of Concord, Massachusetts within Google Earth.

Google Earth map with 1852 Concord, Massachusetts map overlay

To view the Google Earth map overlay download Google Earth and the above file. Once you have installed Google Earth, navigate to the "file" menu to open the .kmz file from your downloads folder.