Smithsonian Internship 3

Thanks to the internship, I have been developing data visualization and web map presentation skills. The interactive map requires JavaScript language to visualize the large datasets. This is one step further to my digital humanities training in class because it requires intensive coding. The ultimate goal of the project is to present the data of Syria on interactive maps in a visual and aesthetic manner. After a few months working on interactive maps, I am familiar with the expressions used to spatial data analysis and applied them to create different types of visualization such as popup box on hover, choropleth map and cluster map. Below is a choropleth map. Hover over the province, you can see the information in the white box. You can also zoom out a bit to have the full view of Syria.

One skill I am developing is to refine the design of the map, making it more informative while visually aesthetic. It takes smart organization of digital means rather than one more block of codes. For example, the popup box when you hover over a place on a cluster map contains limited information due to the limited space while the dataset may contain large amount of information about one place. Digging my digital toolkit, I am experimenting with a few solutions to solve this space problem: 1) make a webpage for more details and insert the hyperlink. I am coding to see if Mapbox allows to embed a link in the popup box. 2) Slightly change the coordinates of a place. An area is usually made up of more than one pair of coordinates. By distributing a few pairs of coordinates to the same location, for example, Palmyra of Syria, a few popup boxes are available. 3) other types of map. The exact shape of the final project is not yet set. If it has to be one map, it takes some time to design the map and see if the design is technologically workable. Below is an example. It is a cluster map. I added a search bar where you can search the place on the map and the information of a place will show up in the popup box when you hover over it. You can also zoom out a bit to have the full view of the cluster map.

The skill I will develop in the future is combining multiple visualization effects in one map. This is not simply adding blocks of code together because different codes for different visualization effects sometimes contradict with each other. I need to parse the data, coordinate expressions and APIs, and see if they can work together. As the mapping goes on, I predict I will have to at least have a try for it. I hold breath for the result.

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