Last Unit 2 Workshop: Maps and Mapping

Begin with the Instagram feed of the Leventhal Map Center of the Boston Public Library; every day they post an interesting historical map.

The BPL Leventhal Center also has a digital exhibition up now, through April 2024, titled Getting Around Town: Four Centuries of Mapping Boston in Transit

Check out some of these map-related links:

A 2014 Map of US with states labeled by how they’re ranked “worst” (Maps on the Web Tumblr — which also posts at least one map a day)

What if the NY Subway Map stops were all renamed for women?

Current wind patterns

One Author Reimagined North America and its internal regions as 11 nations in 2012 – how well has his analysis held up over the last ten years?

2022 was the last redistricting year, which happens every decade in every state. Try your hand at redrawing Congressional districts

Mapping “witchcraft” in case law

Map slave voyages during the era of the transatlantic slave trade (

You might also want to spend some time with a few other links related to historical maps or mapping as a historical research method. A 2017 article in Forbes magazine talks about how digital mapping helps us understand racism and the history of segregation, including:

An especially expansive and beautiful digital library of maps (at high resolution) is David Rumsey Map Collection (Stanford University)

Stanford also hosts the Mapping the Republic of Letters project from Dan Edelstein and Paula Findlen, tracing (and mapping) the trajectory of thousands of letters from the pens of European Enlightenment writers. Here’s a brief video explaining the project:

Other innovative projects work with recreating or layering historical maps to create digital environments of the past: