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Beyond Beautiful Maps

I am so proud to present the Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps, created as a Centennial history project for the New Mexico Humanities Council.

This work of love combines a selection of historic maps, covering New Mexico history from the explorations of Fray Marcos de Niza to the rise of automobile tourism in the 1920s. Each map has been brought into a Google maps interface, and annotated with the stories of the people who were there at the time the map was created, including the stories of the mapmakers themselves, from missionary Franciscans to military surveyors to railroad boosters. In addition to the stories, the map markers are packed with photographs, illustrations, government documents, links galore to other sites and to full text versions of the books and articles referenced, and native American oral histories. Timelines, audio, and slideshows offer descriptive overviews of each thematic era. On top of that, lesson plans support the use of the maps in a classroom & support expansion of the Atlas by students, who can create rich media KML files in Google Earth and upload them.

What made this all possible besides the vision of the New Mexico Humanities Council? Our very own content management system, BIM. My wonderful partner Craig twiddled BIM so it supports easy and quick content management in Google maps, including marker creation, drawing lines and areas, supporting bibliographic references and media management, and so on. Everything you see at the Atlas was created using a very simple form-based administrative interface, requiring almost no technical or geographical knowledge. If you think you could use a powerful Google maps content management system, to support your educational or advocacy project, let us know! We're looking forward to seeing what other uses it can be put to.

Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps »

New Mexico Humanities Council »

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