Mapping the US History Survey

We are the editors of The American Yawp (, the first and only open US history textbook produced through massive collaboration. We are in the early stages of thinking through “The American Yawp Atlas,  a compendium of both static and interactive maps designed for the US history survey. Come help us think through the process and produce a series of documents.

Too often textbooks use maps simply as decoration. What issues, themes, or events in the survey require spatial representation? Is a textbook the best medium to represent the spatial history of the United States? Creating databases is often the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of GIS work. What data resources are already available to help produce maps suitable for the survey?

We have three goals for this session. Through open discussion, we hope to

1.  Produce a wish-list of maps.

2.  Identify resources for the production of maps suitable for the survey.

3.  Sketch the draft of a white paper on best practices in the pedagogy of spatial history,

We have a fourth goal as well, as we are always looking to meet and collaborate with those interested in democratizing history through digital tools. Come share your ideas, questions, and concerns.


Categories: Mapping, Open Access, Session: Make, Teaching |

About Ben Wright

I am an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Dallas. I teach courses in nineteenth century America, slavery, religion, and the digital humanities. My book manuscript, tentatively titled "Antislavery and American Salvation," explores the relationship between religious conversion and antislavery. I am the co-editor of The American Yawp, a free and online American history textbook.