Today I will be taking a look at Thomas Parker’s fantastic final project titled “The Dust Bowl’s Impact on the Population of the Dakota’s.”
The first thing I noticed about this project was its very clear and easy-to-understand concept. A lot of mapping projects could get very complicated for outside viewers but Thomas does a great job of making the concept easily accessible. It is also a question that intrigued me, studying change in demographics is something both of our projects focused on. I also really liked how Thomas also focused on his home region for his project, I found that studying your home encourages you to find the answers. I am willing to bet that this was the same for Thomas.
His introduction clearly states what he is studying and how he is going to find the answers. I always appreciate it when the author is concise. I enjoyed his description of the historical portion of the project with the dust bowl and the Okie movement but I wish he would’ve gone into a bit more detail about how exactly these events affected his area of study. The dust bowl was horrific for many people and I would love to learn more about it. Regardless, Thomas gives you as much information as you need to understand and appreciate the project which is the most important thing.
The maps are very well done and easy to see the data visualized. I also appreciate the use of a circle map, especially when it fits really well for this project and the numbers Thomas is displaying. I think the maps would improve if the legend was a part of the map itself instead of the map description. The colors and their values are clearly stated and easy to understand once you read the description, it works but I think it would have been simpler to use a legend. I think his decision to spread 30 years over 3 maps was a good idea and showed the change in an effective way. The soil map is beautiful and fascinating but I wish it was more relevant to the project and analysis itself. I remember in the presentation Thomas explained the relevance but when just viewing the project it can be a bit confusing.
His quotes are short and sweet. His first quote from Donald Berg is right to the point and illustrates the data shown in the maps above. The second quote is definitely the more interesting one. A primary source from a woman who experienced the dust bowl is a great touch. Elizabeth Holcroft gives a human account of the dust bowl which humanizes the data this project is centered around. It can be very easy to think of these events as ancient history but this quote helps remind the reader that real people went through this.
The conclusion is honest and insightful but since the original theory was incorrect it feels a bit disappointing. Since there wasn’t any data showcased to actually determine if anyone did move to the Dakotas during this time it makes the project feel like it’s missing some research in that area. The main question of the project was answered clearly and that is the most important thing.
Overall I really enjoyed the project by Thomas. I do wish there was more data presented and analyzed but since I didn’t research this topic I have no idea if there is anything else to add. The maps were easy to understand and he showcased his ability to collect data and present it in a clear way. I enjoyed the additional photos quite a bit as well but I still wish the soil map had a more clear purpose. I am glad I got to read this again after the great presentation on monday.
The StoryMap focuses on the impact of Jacksonville Jaguars on the city of Jacksonville and its growth, demographics, and financials over the last three decades. The map takes us through a timeline of the start of the franchise and the steps that went into establishing it and introduces the market, Jacksonville obviously. Although Jacksonville was the 30th largest city in the country, it ranked 56th in television market. The limited metro population was the main reason, and the project seeks to focus on different aspects of this. Next, he focuses on the demographics of the city and notices a significant drop in the white population relative to other races. After the market and demographic analysis, the map goes into financial analysis and looks at income and growth of all sorts of establishment like restaurants, bars, hotels, and jobs created. The most interesting aspect of the jobs created section was the point made that Jacksonville was immediately eligible to host a Super Bowl. The main takeaway of the map is that when it comes to expansion teams in new cities, they benefits greatly outweigh the costs and that cities with the opportunity, should jump at the opportunity.
I thought an overall strength of the StoryMap was the actual maps that were made and the different elements of ArcGIS that were displayed. Whether it was overlaying an aerial view of current Jacksonville, pie charts showing demographics, timeline, and I think the slide was used well in most scenarios. I think there is a clear question that the map is asking and the project does a solid job of answering it.
Some improvements that can made are also in the maps. In the market section, I am not sure what those maps of Jacksonville highways are trying to show or add to the section. Also when using the swipe, there is no difference between the two images. The fact that Jacksonville did host a Super Bowl in 2005 and it wasn’t even mentioned was a missed opportunity. The map could’ve drawn from facts and things that occurred in 2005 instead of what an average modern day Super Bowl is. There is also a ArcGIS Dashboard that isn’t visible.
This story map breaks down some of the most extreme cases of railroad towns. Both the booms and busts follow similar trends based on the lining of the rail lines. Learning about these many cities, we hear about their growth, the timeframes of their existence, and the demographics of these communities. This is supported by graphs, pictures,
and maps to put together a story.
I loved the way you slowly built the map of the area. By starting out with just the singular town, then adding a neighbor, and so on. Every city added a piece of the puzzle to complete the map. By the end of the presentation, we could look at the included map and have a full understanding of the different cities, railroads, and the surrounding area. I also appreciated all the historical photographs. I think these added a lot to your story. Seeing pictures of people specifically reminded me that this was telling the story of people’s homes and that there is more to the story other than just railroad cities. Finally, I am a big fan of graphs, so the population graphs really helped put these demographic changes into perspective.
I would certainly suggest using more page headers to give an easier transition from town to town. Having that included in the drop-down bar at the top would certainly be beneficial rather than just limiting it to the “Booms and Busts” and the Works Cited. Perhaps doing the booms first and then juxtaposing it with busts, followed by common themes. This was slightly touched on in the conclusion, but I think highlighting these themes a little more at the start and end of your story map would go a long way to getting your point across.
“The History of Hawaii’s Sugarcane” maps out the amount of land sugar cane plantations encompassed from the 1830s when sugar cane was first introduced to the islands until 1970 when the last plantation ceased production. The map provides a lot of background information about Hawaii’s sugar production, but it would have been good to put Hawaii into conversation with other sugar producers. Hawaii rose in importance for sugar production as Cuba (previously the largest sugar producer) was at war for independence and fell as beet sugar production grew in prominence.
This look at Hawaiian sugar production highlights how poorly workers were treated in the first section, while the maps illustrate how plantations pushed the boundaries set for them by the government. These two sections could have been tied together better by discussing other ways plantation owners violated government regulations with workers or by mapping more of the workers discussed in the text.
I really liked how Hawaii’s history as a US territory (Hawaii did not become a state until 1959) was interwoven with the rise of sugar production on the island. Incorporating these different elements helps to give a clearer picture of how sugar production on Hawaii was a piece of the US’s attempts to become an imperial power. The explanation for why sugar production in Hawaii fell could have been fleshed out more, but the map of the current land uses over former plantations helps to show how urbanization and tourism replaced the space for plantations.
The maps of the Koloa and Lihue plantations were really good to see how production changed over time. These specific examples gave a close look at the changes in the sugar production industry, although an explanation of why these two plantations would have been beneficial. The irrigation ditches map did not fit in the best. It could have been good to instead include a map showing all the sugar plantations throughout the islands in order to more widely contextualize sugar production. The final map of sugar production today would have been more effective with a key since the colors are not explained very clearly.
Overall, this map effectively describes the rise and fall of sugar production in Hawaii and shows how plantations pushed the boundaries set for them in order to maximize profits. The use of images to show the workers highlights the impact of Hawaii’s sugar production on individuals.
Peer review of Jackson Fuller’s presentation: Suburbanization in the Denver-Metro Area
As someone who was an audience member of this presentation with no knowledge of the subject, I came out of the presentation feeling very informed and knowledgeable about the suburbanization of Denver.
I thought the part of most significance were the maps about the census tracts. Spanning from 1950 to 2020 we can see just how important suburbanization became to Colorado and Denver more specifically. On the 1950 map, there is hardly any data besides the areas between Lakewood and Arapahoe. Jumping to almost present-day in 2020, the data spans from Barr Lake to Pike National Forest. This would not be possible without Denver’s interstate system, and specifically, I-25.
As someone who likes to learn about American history, and American President’s history, I really liked the mention of Dwight Eisenhower’s National Interstate and Defense Highway Act. Although we have never had to use the interstate’s for military purposes (knock on wood) this was a great way to set the scene for how the interstate’s around Denver helped to inadvertently create suburbanization.
In the presentation, it talks about how I-25 today “Is one of the two major interstates that go directly into the heart of Denver.” The presentation also talks about how “I 25 has made an obvious difference as well, greatly expanding the range of the Denver Metro area north and south.” In looking at the expansion of Denver in 1970.
One critique I have of this presentation is how the census data is residents per square mile. It would be hard to think of a different way to measure population for such a small area without using a metric like this one, but it makes it harder to also compare the earlier years against the latter years.
Overall, I really enjoyed this presentation and thought it was great. I’m glad I learned something about another state’s interstate system and how that played a key role into the suburbanization of Denver. Great job!