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Using StoryMapJS and TimelineJS

I decided to have a little bit of fun with these tools by using information from my historic preservation thesis on gender and Virginia’s equine landscape. While I don’t think StoryMapJS and TimelineJS are the best tools for analyzing and sharing my research, I enjoyed experimenting.

I liked several aspects of StoryMapJS, including its ability to show locations in relation to each other and its integration of media with text and maps. However, I found the tool to be limited in arranging information about a concept as abstract as gender. Since it organizes the locations in a chronology, I think it would work better as a timeline. I ultimately ended up organizing my information about the horse farms in a manner that shows the male-run farms before the female-run ones. Conveniently, this method forms a clean loop on the map. Had I tried to arrange the farms chronologically, the map would have been more confusing, especially if I added more farms. I also don’t like how the map appears on my blog.

I found TimelineJS to be a better tool for creating a history of some of the women in my study’s racing accomplishments. However, I would have had to add considerably more information about men in racing, U.S. history, and gender roles to develop a meaningful context for these seemingly isolated events. I like the aesthetics of TimelineJS because they are clean, straightforward, and the colors, backgrounds, and media can be manipulated more than in StoryMapJS. However, I wish the images used in the timeline could be enlarged.

Ultimately, I don’t think my group will likely use these tool for our 3D laser scanning project for the James Monroe Museum. However, we could possibly use StoryMapJS to map out the origins of the objects we scan to provide visuals. We could also use TimelineJS to create a map of when the objects were made or when they were acquired by James Monroe, although this information could be broad and defeat the purpose of making a timeline.

Although I find Feedly a little bit difficult to navigate, I hope that it will make it easier to keep up with new blog posts by my classmates and members of the DH Compendium.