Presented by Brennan Collins and Joe Hurley May 25, 2016.
What happens when you layer a science project on top of a walking tour on top of an art experiment on top of an archival map on top of demographic data on top of a memoir? What if the archives of multiple universities and other institutions could be accessed on one platform and layered with the projects, stories, and data from researchers, teachers, students, and community groups? The ATLmaps.com project attempts to answer these questions. The platform, a collaboration between Georgia State University and Emory University, combines archival maps, geospatial data visualization, and user contributed multimedia location pinpoints to promote investigation into any number of issues about Atlanta. While currently focused on one city to demonstrate the power of stacking thousands of layers of information on one place, this innovative online platform will eventually allow users to layer an increasing number of interdisciplinary data to address the complex issues that any city poses. The project looks to offer a framework that incorporates storytelling reliant on geospatial data and for normalizing input across a range of data sets so that material can be cross-compared in novel ways, allowing users to make connections between seemingly unrelated data sources and ask questions that would not be apparent when only looking at one particular project. The ATLmaps also encourages knowledgeable members of the university and local communities to curate data on the site to demonstrate the possibilities for synthesizing material across projects and data types.
In this webinar, we will provide an overview and demonstration of ATLmaps. We will explain how the platform came out of two large map digitization projects, faculty development efforts connected to teaching and learning, and several local documentaries. We will also discuss roadblocks and successes in the development process-building a geoserver, copyright issues, search functionality, funding, and working across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.