This week, we learned about spatial analysis and products like narrative maps that historians have constructed to provide an analysis of the lived history of people. Those who work on the Stanford University Spatial History Project view their work as different from traditional historical work in a few ways; their work is collaborative rather than done individually, focuses on complex, data-driven visualizations rather than texts, still images, or static maps, use digital history and therefore computers, is open-ended, and focuses on space in addition to time rather than exclusively on time (White, 2010). Narrative maps, being a subset of tools used by people who work on such projects, are part of the movement in the historical field to bring to light narratives that derive their meaning from not only moments in time but also locations one can pinpoint or trace on a map using computers that can quickly and effectively handle large amounts of data.
White, Richard. “What Is Spatial History?” The Spatial History Project, February 1, 2010. http://web.stanford.edu/group/spatialhistory/cgi-bin/site/pub.php?id=29.