Digital Map Made From A Database

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Our assignment for this week was to critique the website Digital Harlem. I particularly enjoy this site because of my interest in not only history, but also maps in general and how they can help understand relationships that would not be readily seen without them.

The first thing I noticed was the ease of use. This website seems very user friendly. By entering in simple information one can bring up a variety of different information such as events or places, and any information that they have on that particular situation. Also, you can bring up multiple points relating to a single person by typing their name into the search box. The use of Google maps I believe was a good choice. Most people today can operate and understand Google map applications, which makes this particular map more inviting. As well, there is a very informative “how to” box on the top of the page for those who might feel a little intimidated or confused by the usage of a map in this fashion.

However, the most important feature in my opinion is the ability to bring up multiple points from different search at once, in overlays. The use of overlays is what makes this website, and maps in general, particularly useful. Maps have the ability to illustrate things that can be missed by other mediums. By using maps relationships can be inferred through visualization, as mentioned earlier, and other questions can be raised as well.

I also rather enjoyed the color scheme and overall look of the page. The black and white aerial view of the city as a top border was a nice touch. The lettering isn’t too bright and doesn’t clash with the rest of the page. The color scheme is one of being warm and inviting instead of a cold feeling I would expect from an archive of information. Also, the way the information is laid out is very important. There isn’t a feeling where too much or too little information is presented right at once.

The only negative I have about this site would have to be in the people search itself. I do not really know any individual names from anyone in this time period from this particular area. So this feature is a little lost to me, but at the same time I could just chalk that up to my ignorance of a particular piece of history.

Overall I believe this site could be a very helpful resource, because an interactive database with the ability to compare information and place it on a map that can be visualized enhances our understanding of this particular area.

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