Monday, January 18, 2016

Historical GIS: “Mapping American Social Movements”

A historical GIS project of interest is "Mapping American Social Movements," directed by James Gregory at the University of Washington. According to the website,
This collaborative digital project is assembling data and visualizations about dozens of social movements that have influenced American life and politics during the 20th century, including radical movements, labor movements, women's movements, many different civil rights movements, environmentalist movements, and more. . . . This project allows us to explore the relationships between social movements by bringing them together in time and space. It enables new understandings of how social movements interact and how they reproduce and change over time.
The project is ongoing, with plans to add new data and topics over time. Currently the project includes data on the "activist geography" of the NAACP, the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Communist Party. Future topics include the United Farm Workers (UFW), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and other civil rights movements.
    This site is just one portion of the larger Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights Projects collection, also overseen by Professor Gregory. The ten projects "bring together more than one hundred video oral history interviews and several thousand photographs, documents, and digitized newspaper articles. Included are films, slide shows, and lesson plans for teachers. The projects also feature scores of historical essays about important issues, events, and people." In addition to "Mapping American Social Movements," other sections of particular interest include "America's Great Migrations" and "The Great Depression in Washington State."