Last Tuesday, we learned how to create maps and timelines, both of which would be useful for our websites. In particular, the creation of the maps interested me since I do GIS, but the process and end result was quite different between Google Maps and ArcMap (the ESRI GIS software that we use here at Mary Wash). The timeline option looked fascinating, since information and pictures could be added to the feature making it both informative and visually appealing.
I would be lying if I said creating the map was really fun or interesting. After spending the past three years working with GIS software and creating maps with multiple sets of data, the oversimplified Google Map just annoyed me. I felt so limited, and thought that my map wasn’t showcasing everything that it could potentially display. I guess for its easy and accessible interface the map served its purpose and can be used to visually aid an argument or a website. I definitely think our group will include a map (of campus and the Fredericksburg community) but if I have any say in the matter I would gladly prefer a more intricate and appealing map created through the GIS software I use rather than Google Maps.
Fortunately, I was much more pleased with the process and the outcome of the timeline. Not only was it simple to use and easy to add media and credits to, but the result was a clean timeline with all of the necessary information. The user could put as little or as much information as he or she desired, but for me the purpose of the timeline was to show location, date, and an image. Again, I think our group will definitely be using a timeline, or several (so it doesn’t become too overwhelming), to assist in informing our audience of events occurring on the home front during WWI. We also might contribute to an overall Century America timeline showing events happening nationally and locally at our school’s campuses. Overall, both the map (preferably ArcMap based) and the timeline will greatly assist in our online archive and exhibit.