The Battle of Chancellorsville project uses an interactive map to explore spatial relationships within the geographic space. This allows the reader to contextualize the information that is being conveyed in a dynamic way. Rather than simply reading about a location or trying to put the battle into a context on your own, the interactive map provides a perspective for even the basic reader consisting of location, geography, and color-coded interactive scheme using shapes to better understand General Lee’s maneuvers and appreciate his complex strategy. In addition, Neatline technologies allows interactive stories that the user can visually and spatially understand in a single document allowing the user not only to visualize a specific battle in this case, but also across a period of multiple days. The second site focuses on the achievements of 14-year-old Emma Willard. It is believed that she invented our understanding of the modern day map. At the time, geography was tough through prose, and Willard developed a new, visual understanding of geography. The goal of the project is to reposition her work into a digital and interactive space to understand her developments.

Hypercities is a tool that tells the story and history of geographic locations. It uses Google Earth along with many different archives and projects. You are able to see the evolution of a city by displaying an older version of a city over the current version. Hypercities explains how you create your your own project at http://help.hypercities.com/index.php?title=Main_Page where the various tech tools are explained. The backend for hypercities is extremely complex while the frontend is very easy to use. Hypercities does explain how to use the code but it is clear that it will take a lot of time and effort for someone to be able to use it who does not have any computer science background. The site also uses twitter as you can search for specific tweets within a certain area. In order to do this, a program called Stream Daemon, https://github.com/shepdl/stream-daemon/, was developed and is available for anyone’s use.

While Neatline and Hyper Cities both support special arguments, they diverge in composition and purpose. Hypercities seemingly provides a more open platform, where information is always under construction with contributions from universities, outside communities, etc.  While Hypercities acknowledges the past by connecting locations with stories and histories, it does this in ‘real time’ so to speak. Using Google Earth, Hyper Cities is able to pin point exact geographical happenings in connection to the cultural happenings at the time (For example, Twitter in Real Time allows the user to drop a pin and read the tweets in that specific area within the last 5 seconds). Neatline appears to have a more direct purpose or focus. While the site also maps cultural data, it seems to be more oriented toward an event or time period, relying on archival or heritage information to illustrate timelines or maps of specific events. While Hyper cities tells stories through its cultural records and themes, Neatline maps appear to focus on a particular story, with a specific purpose and specific perspective. It seems to have a more argumentative or conceptual drive that apparent in Hypercities.

http://neatline.org/about/

http://digital2.library.ucla.edu/projects_collaborations/Hypercities-Los-Angeles.shtml

Courtney Power, Baylis Treen, Michael Diana, Alec Karanikolas

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