Assignment #3 Digital Maps

I had a lot of fun looking at the AfricaMap because it gives so much information on everything. On this interactive map you can look at languages and family dynamics, conflict data, religions, and even the trans-atlantic slave trade. The first thing that caught my attention was all of the colours when you first get to the site and from there I was set.

This site is super easy to navigate which makes it accessible and interesting for almost everyone. You can click on specific tabs and overlays on the and get rid of other ones, or have them overlap and compare some things such as comparing language and religion. Also, when you go to the side to click on a specific tab of information, as your cursor is over top a blurb comes up about that topic. For example, there is one part where you can see Rwanda memorial sites, but as you scroll over it there is information about the Rwandan genocide which I find really informative. Despite knowing about most of these events already, it was interesting to see how they word the information in such a small amount of space so that it’s not a major paragraph but still informative. Below there is a photo of the side where the overlays are, the blurb on the Rwandan genocide (this one was a bit longer) and where the memorials are located on the map.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 9.57.41 PM

This digital map can be very useful for how we understand the history of Africa as a nation. While it didn’t cover all of the history of Africa, naturally, it did a pretty good job in covering the basics. There are interactive geo-referenced maps to see what specific places were like in the past, it is entirely interactive and it’s attentive to the reader. Nothing about this map lost my attention, I was looking at it for hours!

The ONLY thing I would say about this map and the way the site works is to go back and check that all overlays on the side, for example some of the ones under the trans-Atlantic slave trade, work. Some of the links I clicked on for it to come up on the map did not work and so it was a bit disappointing that I couldn’t exactly see where everything was, but I could still read about it.

Despite that, I think this map does a really good job in bringing African history to life and being able to see how things have changed and where events played out. It could be used as a historical document even because of all the different ways you could look at things and visualize Africa. This map was really interesting and definitely broadened my knowledge of African history.


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