Mapping Application for African American Places, Culture & History
The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum’s Mapping Application for African American Places, Culture & History was developed by SSAAM board member and geographic information analyst (GIS), Kevin Burkman. It was recently awarded 2ndplace in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s 2018 Mapping Contest, for Best Web Mapping Application. It is hoped that this application will further educate the public about the role of African Americans in culture and history, across the American landscape.
The application allows African American points of interest to be viewed in a web map, where users can obtain information about the sites. This information includes geographic locations & data, categories, short descriptions, and live website links for more detailed site information, and Google Map directions. The application also includes tools to make site finding easy and quick.
Nearly 300 hundred sites have been verified, which lie mostly along the target region of the I95 corridor, from Portland, ME to Richmond VA. Dozens of websites from organizations and government agencies were utilized to gather this data. The sites have been organized into major categories, including historic sites, cemeteries and churches, as well as museums, memorials, monuments, and sites of cultural and academic importance.
The online mapping application features several tools that allow users to easily find sites of interest.
Pop-up box: Click on a point of interest on the map, and a pop-up dialog box appears, with a short description and links for more information about that site.
Regions Bookmarks: Bookmarks were created that allow the user to select points of interest by clicking on a bookmark of a particular region (Philadelphia, New York, etc.). The map then zooms-in to that region of interest.
Query: The Query tool is the most powerful tool of the set. With it, the user can search for sites of very specific interest:
People: “Douglass”, “King”, etc.
Places: “New Jersey”, “Mercer County”, “Wilmington”, etc.
Terms: “Underground Railroad”, “Slavery”, “Abolition”, “AME”, etc.