20/20 Bomb Sight

As I scanned through the list of HGIS projects on the GeoSpatial Historian website, there were many I found interesting and of which utilized their maps to communicate its historic topic. The one which intrigued me the greatest was Bomb Sight.

Bomb Sight is a HGIS project which maps all the recorded bombs dropped on London during the Blitz from Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe.  When the map is zoomed out to fit the entirety of London, the copious number of pins representing bombs dropped communicates just how large the scope of the attack was. In addition, when I zoomed in to be able to see the specific locations of each pin, I discovered that many of the pins represent multiple bombs dropped on the location. The website itself is well designed and very easy to use. The default data set represented is the aggregate bomb census from the 7th of October 1940 to the 6th of June 1941, however it also gives users the option to display bombs dropped on the first night or the first week of the Blitz.bombsight-org-660x440

As for the map, there are may options to customize to portray different data sets. The default map is a street map view however it can be changed to a satellite image as well as a georeferenced bomb map from the 1940s. This provides a user with many experiences with the maps data as viewed through to street view to make it easy to digest each bomb’s location as well as having the historical map which gives insight on what London looked like at the time and perhaps answer questions of why some bombs were dropped in their specific location. The website makes it easy to locate any area within London through its “Explore London” section, as well as having a search tool within the map. The project uses geographic and time data.

The project also offers an Android version of the maps. This Android version offers an augmented reality mode where a user can use their phone’s camera and GPS to display all the bombs which dropped within their vicinity.

I found it difficult to find any noticeable issues with the project. The only thing I could see them improve is their “Weekly Bomb Census” which only gave me access to the first week of the Blitz bombings despite my attempts to access other weeks. Overall, Bomb Sight is a fantastic project which I found both fascinating and informative and encouraged me to go beyond the project and do more research bombing within the Second World War.

Blog post #3 HGIS project review

The HGIS project that I looked at is called the digital atlas of Roman and medieval civilizations. It is a map focused on the Mediterranean and the surrounding area that used to be part of the Roman empire. The webpage shows some information about the project and the people who made it but the main purpose is the map. The map gives you the option to look at what buildings you want to such as Roman forts or you can turn the forts off and look at cities instead or both at the same time. The map shows the sites of Roman forts, walls and towns as well as offer things from the Roman period. Under the medieval tab is the option to see things happening in the middle ages such as the trade routes and movement of the vikings as well as the expansion of Islam and the crusades and various churches and monasteries.


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The map show a lot of information well and it is very useful if you are trying to see the locations of important sites at that time and the distance between them. Each point also has a lot of data which is of some use but the user of this map must know something about the location before using the map effectively as this map doesn’t give any information on the significance of the locations but just give a bunch of empirical data that is useful but only if you have already read up on the site elsewhere. The website does show where they got their data under a section titled map sources but they also have a section called bibliography that is blank. since they already show sources for the map they don’t need to have a whole section just called bibliography but if they are going to then they should at least put some sources in it.


The GIS Project I chose to review was Beyond Steel :An Archive of Lehigh Valley Industry and Culture. This GIS documents the mid nineteenth-century boom through late twentieth-century decline of Lehigh Valley. The project looks into major industries like Bethlehem Steel, local churches, schools, government buildings and independent businesses.

The map includes 1900-1901, 1900-1902 Bethlehem Steel employee lists, a database of streets and selected information from the 1900 Census report. This represents the Bethlehem population as well as a good concept of the workers in the steel industry in Lehigh.

The website categorizes the maps information into sections including, business & technology, society & culture, with sub categories including iron & steel, coal & canals, railroads, cements and factories. This makes it easy to recognize points on the mapping system and easily find where those points are explained in the website in detail.

The mapping system was difficult to find on the website, in my opinion I believe it should be more of a focal point in the website, which in this case the information of the GIS is the front page. For improvement, I would move the map to the central point of the website, and have the information slides pop up while clicking on the different points on the map. Once on the map, it is easy to navigate to different points on the map, and since the size of the map is not very big considering it is only mapping Lehigh Valley, I think good detail was involved when creating the map.


Blog Post #3

While discussing the HGIS project in labs “the Bombsight” it really caught my attention. It was very interesting to know where the bombings were yet difficult to differentiate them. The Project is the mapping of London world war two bomb census between 7/10/1940 to 06/06/1941. The project scanned the locations of all the falling bombs recorded on the map. Personally, I always liked learning about where the bombings were located in WW2 and learning about how many were there in the region that affected civilians and homes. The Bomb sight was created by a collaboration between of individuals (Doctors, University of Portsmouth stepping, web developers etc). This indicates that this is a good source since the website was created by individuals that were knowledgeable about this topic.

What is interesting is that there is information about the location of different defences built to prevent a German Invasion. There were also memories from the BBC WW2 achieve( people’s stories to the area), and Images from the Imperial war Museum collections. There is also variety of data such as Raster maps of aggregate night time bomb census, raster maps of weekly bomb census, 24 hours of blitz, present day street map titles and present day aerial imagery, etc. This help viewers to see the impact of the war and realize how devastating it is. Also it gives an accurate visual of the event with all this data provided on this site. There is also mobile app that features on this website, making it easier for users to navigate on the go. In addition, The Bomb sight has statistics about the London Btlitz which indicates the total number of high explosive bombs dropped from 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941 in a specific location and a weekly bomb census which is interesting. Also another thing is that map is very interactive as when you press the “Explore” option on the Bomb Sight you are able to see different areas of London that have been affected by the bombing such as “Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley etc. It is very helpful/useful to access the different locations. Overall, this is a great source as a lot of data and research existed on this site.

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There were things that were difficult about this source. One being it was hard to navigate through the map as it was hard to zoom enough to see the bombs separate. It was hard to locate a very specific location on the map as the bombings were all clustered together. Secondly, I personally believe that they should’ve differentiated between high explosive bombings and non- high explosive bombings to give an effect to the viewers. It is just overwhelming to see all the bombs clustered in one area all at once. Thirdly, there should’ve been information about the intensities of the bombing as they could’ve added a layer saying which bombings were detrimental to the area.bombings

Out of the Desert HGIS Review

For this week’s blog post, I will be reviewing the HGIS project by Yale University on the Japanese internment camp detention and relocation during the Second World War titled “Out of the Desert“.  Upon entry to the site, it immediately presents the information in a visual and interactive manor without any complicated tools. It’s unclear what GIS program was used.

The map itself is nothing particularly special, however the use of different icons allows visitors to distinguish between the relocation centers and the assembly centers. By clicking on each individual icon, a small history of each location is shown along with more visual tiles which open photos related to that location. The aesthetics of mixing both the text information and the visuals is well done. However, upon clicking on the visual, it begins a slideshow however both the information regarding what the photo is and the photo itself are on two different slides. This makes for a somewhat confusing and back and forth motion in order to read how the photo relates to the information previously read.


In addition to the map, there is a small description which provides a link which leads to a self-led history of the relocation ordered by President Roosevelt and goes further into detail regarding the treatment and lifestyle of a prisoner of the camp. This slideshow is both visually appealing and informative. The information is presented in an organized manner that made it quite easy to navigate and understand. Furthermore, the language used was not that of a scholarly article, but rather an educational piece that those outside the in-depth study of History could understand and use, for example in a high school project. There are some areas where text overflow is an issue as it sometimes bleeds out of the boundaries of the text, however this is a very minor issue that does not take away from the benefit of the rest of the HGIS project.


I enjoyed exploring this HGIS project and learning more about the Japanese treatment during World War II as we have a similar history in Canada. They also provide information regarding the Noguchi Museum in New York and a symposium that was held earlier in October 2017, where further information can be found.

Blog Post #3

For my third post, I looked at the HGIS Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization. This interactive map really caught my attention. This website was created by a university computer science student and his professor who is a historian of slavery at Georgetown. It was very simple to navigate as well as very user friendly. It showed things in its visuals such as where most of the slaves in the trade were shipped to as well as where they were shipped from and at what time in the world’s history this happened.

The first interactive map on the site shows where all of the Atlantic SLaving Voyages departed from. From the map we can conclude that the departures began first in Portugal and from there expanded to the United Kingdom where the majority of departures came from. The departures also came from the coast of the United States and from South America at the east coast of Brazil.

The second interactive map on the site shows where slavers purchased captive Africans. This map shows us how there was only one main spot where this trading happened and it was along the African coast from Senegal all the way down to Angola. This is already fairly well known though as along the coast would be the only place that the slavers could get their boats so it makes most sense that the high density is all around the ports of Africa.

The third and final interactive map on the site displays where the slavers disembarked their human cargo. It shows how their cargo was first disembarked around South-Central America and the trade got very heavy there and was only there until the mid 1700s when the slavers began to disembark their cargo in South America as well as along the coast of the United States.

Overall I think this website was good becuase it gave the reader all the information they needed as well as being extremely user friendly. They also had a section on their website showing where they got all of their data for anyone who enjoys reading more than just looking at colour coated maps.

“Bomb Sights” Analysis, Blog post #3

While working through the process of finding a topic and creating a digital map, I find it interesting yet difficult to piece together something so important to the history of a place through mapping. It is important to do the even justice in the process. One of these maps that I found through the GeoSpatial Historian was a map showing the different bomb sites from WWII between October 7th, 1940 and June 6th, 1941. The majority of the staffing for this blog comes from the University of Portsmouth. I believe, personally, that this is a very scholarly source. It comes from professionals in the field and was developed with the help of specific Web Developers. It uses information that can be found in other ways, however it simply creates a visual of the information and allows its users to take a closer look at the bombings that occurred.

I personally enjoyed this source a lot. I have always been interested in WWII and what happened in it, ever since I began taking history courses. The fact that it was such a short time ago and that the events were so catastrophic is horrible, however it shows the advancements in society today and what can happen with the wrong leadership. I also enjoyed it because it is a different way of looking at something that is frequently discussed. As I said, I have studied WWII for a few years now, but never have I come across a source like this.

“Bomb Sight” is a not-for-profit website with the intention of increasing the knowledge people have on WWII and using another source, The National Archives (which people do not always have access to), gives further access to more information on this topic.

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This project features a map of the bombing from the “Blitz”. It gives a weekly bomb census as well as the ability to look at strictly the first night of the Blitz alone, where you can see that there were already many bombings and fires. Along with the map, the website lets the user go through an “Explore London” feature. This feature shows you a specific place and the bombings that were done there, as well as how many bombs were dropped at different points in time.

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The project uses original 1940s bomb census map which they georeferenced in order to make a more accurate visual of the event. It is specifically London as this was where it took place. For the project, they use a variety of different data such as Raster maps of aggregate night time bomb census, raster maps of weekly bomb census, bomb locations for aggregate night time bomb census, bomb locations for weekly bomb census, 24 hours of Blitz, Defenses of Britain showing anti-invasion defense locations, Imperial War museum images, BBC history WWII memories, Present day street map titles and present day aerial imagery. With so many different data collections being used, it is easier to see more accuracy in the project.

The project visualizes this data by creating a large interactive map that shows each of the different bomb and fire locations from the Blitz. It is also important to note how useful it can be that different locations can be specifically used through the “Explore London” function. This is something that can be used in a specific assignment if looking for the bombings at a specific time in, maybe, Chatham. This will show then and where the bombs were dropped in one of the alleged most accurate maps of WWII bomb sites online.

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I think this is a very well-put-together source. Through the different explanations of data, it is clear that there was thorough research put into this. Another thing that I found very interesting on the site is that before this map was created, the information was only available in the Reading Room at The National Archives. Therefore, the site makes the information more visible to people and allows for a fair amount of interaction. It is also a good source because there are so many different things the user can do. We can explore specific places, we can explore weekly, the first night of the bombings, and zoom in and out of the map to see what kind of a scale the bombing happened on. The website also features a mobile app, making it easier for users to navigate on the go.

One thing I found very difficult about with this source is how to efficiently use it. It is not very Mac user-friendly. I found it difficult to zoom and try to find a specific location on the map. This map also is not very well sources. The only citation on the page is an example citation of the page itself. For this reason, I would be very hesitant to use it as a reliable source until doing much more research on its accuracy. It also eliminates the human aspect in the story. This is not a source that one could specifically write an essay on as it does not accent the casualties or any other specifics of the bombings, as well it is difficult because you can only focus on a specific point at once. Navigation on the site is very difficult, especially when using a laptop. Since it would be much easier to use on a desktop computer, it makes it harder for people to use that rely on a laptop instead.

Post 3: Story Map Analysis

The story map that I have chosen for this week’s analysis is Mapping the Spread of American Slavery. The goal of this story map is to quantify just how many slaves were kept in the United States from the years 1790 to 1860. The creator of the map goes into great detail in providing the information on a county by county basis. Each of the counties on the map are coloured from white to a dark red to visualize the population of enslaved people in each area throughout the country. The number of slaves per county range from 0 in some of the northern states to 100,000 in the deep south. Along the bottom of the story map is a sliding time scale which the user can slide along a timeline to show the evolution and spread of the slave trade away from the costal regions and west, toward the Mississippi river delta, Alabama, and Texas. The scale allows the user to stop in a specific time period that may be of interest to them and at the same time the zoom effect that is used for this map enables us to look at the slave trade through both a large scale national level as well as on a smaller scale on a state by state or even county by county basis.

The Spread of US Slavery A negative aspect of this story map is that the creator decided to present the information on a format of only displaying population numbers and place names. While not necessarily a bad thing, I think that there is a missed opportunity where the creator could have written about specific events throughout the timeline as the user scrolls across as well as giving information about specific areas and why these places, specifically, were populated in the ways that they were. Overall I would say that this map is very informative and gives a large amount of research information relating to the topic, the map leaves users to search elsewhere for additional information and could be vastly improved by adding stories and writing to the numerical information.

Blog #3

The HGIS project that caught my attention through Geospatial Historian is “The Atlas of early printing.”  The Atlas of early printing is an interactive map that is designed as a tool for teaching the early history of printing in Europe during the second half of the fifteenth century. This map is an online resource created by Greg Prickman, who is the head at the University of Iowa Libraries. It illustrates the spread of a moveable type printing technology from the periods of 1940 -1955.

Firstly, the atlas of the early printing not only animates the spread of the printing year-by-year, but includes layers that place printing within a historical and cultural context. This map contains a number of subjects that includes spread of printing, output by location, universities, paper mills, fairs, conflicts and trade routes. Particularly, the information on the map can be displayed layer by layer, and can also be restricted by year or year-range, for clearer viewing. This allows one to turn on and off the layers to build detailed atlas of the culture and commerce of Europe. Specifically, this map is able to animate using the subjects and these layers provided that can be controlled by users, allowing them to view as much or as little information as one chooses.

Secondly, the timeline is controlled by an jQuery UI slider as it is only optimized for mobile and desktop platforms. This enables users to view modern European country boundaries, and the locations of modern cities from the times from 1940-1955. The atlas project also does a good job in creating an intuitive, easy-to-use, yet in depth resource in a compressed period of time. In addition to the map, the site provides background information on the Atlas and the team responsible for it, as well as an examination of one fifteenth-century printed book. This includes a digital animation of an early printing press,  a bibliography of related reference sources and links to other relevant websites.

Visualization of historical topics is increasingly used in scholarship to illustrate relationships and the Atlas of early printing is a prime example of this. For example, as from 1450-1455, one can see that printing slowly began to spread throughout Europe as the secrets of the trade was handed down. In other words, the map shows a great visualization of the commercial relationship that spurred the growth of the printing industry. Not only that, but the map and the information represents data using common bibliographic catalogues and databases for fifteenth century printing, along with secondary sources focusing on each of the contextual layers of the map. The atlas of early printing is to take the information and allow it to provide contextual information that visually represents the cultural situation from which printing came from.

Overall, the map itself was very organized as it is easy to navigate but not visually appealing as the map itself looks dull and so does the legend. Also, the map needs work for the amount of information provided when clicking the output by location.  This is because there is insufficient amount of information provided about the city as it only says the name. For example, when clicking the cities, it should directed to a page indicating further information about the city not just the name. Furthermore, this map allows one to see how things changed over the compressed time and could be used as a historical document for future purposes. In any case, this resource would make a useful introduction to the history of European printing anyways as it would be a good starting point for further bibliographical or historical study.

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Blog Assignment #3

For this blog assignment we are assigned to speak about one HGIS project that can be found on the GeoSpatial Historian. The project that I have chosen for this blog is the voting of the US elections from the years of 1840-2008. This project speaks and shows the statistics of American voting within a numerous amount of years. Once entering the website, we are shown with 4 different maps with different voting by Americans, including presidential, congressional, individual and population. Once clicking on the presidential, it shows different maps regarding different parties, presidential votes, and turnouts. By clicking one of the following, we are shown a time lapse throughout the years. These allow viewers to see the various amount of changes and how different parties affect the voting system through various tactics. This project enables users to view American voting at the most convenient method to view changes in voting patterns, followed by the amount of voters that are slightly been increasing through the years. They use the map of America and differentiating all of states by different color schemes and using a various amount of tools to differ the parties or population. These maps are filled with detail and also shown a legend on the side with the time bar at the bottom, all following in the same sequence.

This project is shown as a very resourceful and highly recommended service for those who are in search of high statistics of American voting. This enables user to see various changes with different years and different scenarios all under one project. The maps are heavily detailed from the brim. Also, not many websites have to vast amount of information regarding the voting system in America, so this website enables users to not only view the numbers, but also see the detailing of the graphing and the time lapse shown.

The disadvantages to this project is the lack of written information to the graphs. The numerical and graphing system is great for the project, however if more available information regarding how the numbers were shown in certain patterns or why there would be high numbers in population. This information would be very useful for a user who is describing basic trends in American voting, however wouldn’t know the precise reasoning to why the numbers are fluctuating in these certain trends. Election2012RedWhiteBlue