Visualizing Early 20th c. Popular Culture with Google Maps

ComicMapBlogged by Alison Hedley for Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Graduate Director for Ryerson’s Communication and Culture program, and he asked me to share some of his recent DH work on the CDH blog. He has been using Google Maps to develop two data visualizations for his research on early 20th century American journalism and film—two distinctive but intersecting fields.

The first map is of Sunday Comics syndicates, 1901 to 1905 (a small snippet pictured above). The second map is of local viewing of itinerant movie shows, 1903 to 1907; the initial link brings up Paul’s photoshopped presentation map image, and you can click through to the Google map itself.
Paul presented the two maps at a workshop at York University last week (wonderfully titled “Serendipity in Digital Research” and led by Deb Verhoeven of Deakin U Australia). Paul mentioned that he’s found the maps to be a great starting point for his investigation but that they leave him wanting more. Indeed, how many of us find this to be the case with data visualization? One question answered yields a dozen new questions!

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