Portfolio 9

Often with historical research, events are presented chronologically and not much is provided for the geography of those events. Beyond a city name or region, or in relation to other locations, normal historic texts do not provide much in the way of geological insight. And so with something as regionally diverse as slavery and its rise and fall in American history, maps providing a visual is incredibly useful especially in seeing the physical expansion. These maps can sometimes be misleading as well. When using census maps, and separating the states into counties, a county may show a high population of enslaved individuals compared to the overall population (which may be small itself). It is useful when they provide density information. Scale can be one of the biggest issues when it comes to mapping. This is what I found to potentially be an issue with the Spread of Slavery map. With the Visualizing Emancipation map, three important variables are considered which include emancipation events, union army locations, and legality of slavery overlay. While the information is interesting, there are some issues with the way they’re presented. As for “emancipation events” there is a wide range of possibilities for what that could be, posing the question of what should be considered an emancipation event. As a whole, projects such as these are helpful in developing a greater understanding of a topic such as slavery in the United States by allowing the user to visualize on a larger scale the scope of the institution. 

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