I initially attempted to map Admiral Albert Gleaves Berry’s career, but ran into issues with pretty much every platform. I lacked certain information in my data set, making it difficult to get points to show up on the map. I probably spent half my time forming and tweaking data, but what it really comes down to is incomplete data creates weak visualizations. For instance, Berry served in the South Atlantic Station between 1872-1876, but the ships were roaming large swaths of ocean and rarely entering port. In other words there was no fixed position to map readily available. I need to do a lot more research to fill in the data gaps. My hope is to map each graduate’s career to see where they overlap. Some might have served on the same ship, one a commander, the other an ensign. It would be enlightening for site visitors to see that historically the US Navy is small and people make connections that can last a lifetime. I only came back to the idea of mapping Berry’s career once I played around with the data sets more and realized that timeline was one of the best platforms.
I used the google docs template and tried as many media types as I could find. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kh5zUht1t8iFWK0gxKo2zoEgp5lmIbzcYY6ji2yckf0/pubhtml It took a lot of plug and play to find urls that transferred well into Timeline. I really like the look of it, but wonder what appearance options are available.
After initially failing to get anywhere with career mapping I switched gears to map graduate’s hometowns. I especially like the prospect of mapping hometowns with my full contingent of data and using cluster options. The group of graduates is representative of the average class entering the academy. I want to understand where midshipmen came from over the years. If they came from primarily seafaring regions, especially before the turn of the century, or if the Midwest is well represented? I really had difficulties with overlaying historic georeferenced maps on modern iterations.
Georeference: Graduates Hometowns
I think Cartodb could be a great visualization tool and really useful for my project if I can figure out which data to show and how to input it correctly (obviously). I had limited success creating single layered maps of the graduate’s hometowns and Berry’s career. In the case of the hometown’s map, I think the additional data of 100 years worth of graduates will be helpful in creating a better visualization. Cartodb is not the best platform for mapping a single graduate’s career, but might also be improved with more alum’s careers included in the data.
I think Storymap is my favorite visualization tool and could be used as an exhibit to track a graduate’s career. That being said, I was still in the throes of data issues with Berry’s career so instead chose to showcase each graduate and their hometown. The multitude of appearance options, the lines tracking between the slides, and chronological capabilities make Storymap a one stop shop. I just wish there was a tagging option and a capability to create additional slides on each individual. Please let me know if it is possible!
Working on visualizations is another great way to reconfigure your project and offer new questions for query. At its core, however, is strong data. I would love to use many of these tools, but first need to pull together stronger and cleaner data.