Blog Post #3 – StoryMapJS and TimeLineJS Exercise

For this blog assignment, I decided to use the same information for both the map as well as the timeline. Last semester, I wrote my Senior Thesis on a Major League Baseball pitcher by the name of Dock Ellis. The basis of my argument was correlating him to the counterculture movement of the 1960s. I figured this would be a good topic for this assignment because obviously the length of an athlete’s career is finite which gives a good window to graph since it has a clear beginning and end.

I did have some trouble embedding both the map and the timeline into this post. I Googled some things and discovered that I needed a WordPress plugin named “iFrame” which enables WordPress to embed using a “shortcode” (at least that is how I interpreted it). Eventually I got it to work but there are still some things that I would like to change but I am just not exactly sure how. These changes, such as extending the bottom of the map so the text from the post does not cover up the “StoryMapJS” information at the bottom, are just minor tweaks so I am not too worried about them.

Both the map and the timeline contain the same basic information but the manner in which this information is communicated slightly changes the interpretation. The timeline does a good job of laying out the basics: when he played, who he played for during certain years, and other major events in his career such as the All Star Game and the LSD No-Hitter. The map on the other hand, while still conveying this same information, allows for a more visual experience in which the viewer can see the location of the events change. I do like the option of the timeline to include videos which I think for oral historians especially, would prove invaluable.

Personally, I prefer the timeline to the map. While making the map, the presentation of the information was clean and easy to read. However, after embedding it, the map becomes smushed together and as a result, loses some functionality and readability. For my project on the Civil War diary, I think the timeline would be the most beneficial since the change of location would probably be rare. I could possibly use each slide as a separate diary entry, have a picture of the scanned page of the diary, and then have the transcription in the text box.