Class 13: Exploring Digital History


History and other humanities that tended to be narrative are leveraging  data collection and display tools to spawn a new digital / data approach to teaching history and social science. In today’s class we will explore some of these exciting web resources.

Class Session | Zoom Video

Class opened with a student-led lesson by Alex Priaulx | Zoom video

We will get an introduction to these sites. Then students will work in teams exploring sites and generating ideas for how they could be used in class. There will also be time for individual meetings with students to report on progress toward final projects.


There is no assignment for this class. Students will be working on final projects.


Nation level data sets

  1. GapMinder World – manipulate moving bubble graphs, select x and y axis from a variety of data sets
  2. Rank Country – insightful world maps and country list data visualizations.

Text-based tools

  1.  NGram Viewer – online research tool that allows you to quickly analyze the frequency of names, words and phrases -and when they appeared in the Google digitized books. For more advanced searches using NGram Viewer click here.
  2. Google Trends – see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time.
  3. WordSift was created to help teachers manage the demands of vocabulary and academic language in their text materials. 

Map-based tools

  1. American Panorama – the parent project of Mapping Inequality – has a variety of map based projects.
  2. Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. Now in digital / interactive format
  3. Timelapse – is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years.
  4. Metrocosm – All the World’s Immigration Visualized in 1 Map
  5. Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration  – map with graph and date slider
  6. MapJunction  – Compare US city maps over time

Social justice projects (example American racial history)

  1. Freedom on the Move – database of runaway slave advertisements
  2. White Supremacy mob violence – interactive / historical map of lynching in US.
  3. Negro Travelers’ Green Book – map based version of the famous travel guide for Black Americans.

Featured image from Foreign Born Population of the United States

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