Blog4, Noah

I chose the Geography of Slavery (GoS) and Freedom on the Move (FOTM). FOTM had a very extensive database with useful a very useful filter that could hone in on a state, county, and city, and of course publish dates. FOTM focuses on newspaper advertisements for bounties on runaway slaves, with over 27,000 advertisements so far contributed. From what I could see from advertisements I looked at, they were manually transcribed as so read as direct transcriptions of the images provided. The site looks fresh and new, and definitely makes good use of the digital medium to provide a large database of newspaper ads in an easily accessible way.

GoS, on the other hand, was much more dated, though I personally kind of like how when you access a document it opens an entirely different window for it. The documents were completely text based, which is a loss here as it is through a digital medium and so should really take advantage of images. This website was evidently constructed many years ago, since any image used is in a separately loaded tab. In this way, the ‘mapping’ was difficult to navigate, though the maps were nice and interactive, they were very lacking in terms of telling a story. I clicked on Abraham’s map, and it simply shows 3 locations he was captured at and the dates associated with those events, nothing else. I commend this site and find it interesting because it’s a noble early effort, and in that way forward thinking. Overall much less information given on GoS than on FOTM, click on any given overall GoS section and only a few documents show up. FOTM however could learn from GoS in having sections displaying many links associated to a certain subject, as being given page after page of thousands of newspaper articles is overwhelming. GoS looks to me much more set up for learning, as in searching around and using it’s old interactive form to discover things, whereas FOTM is definitely a database to be used when knowing what you’re looking for.

One thought on “Blog4, Noah

  1. These are thoughtful observations and critiques of the two websites that speak well to the evaluation measures covered in class! I agree the FOTM has stronger visual appeal and a much more immersive experience. It also contains 27,000 newspaper advertisements, which is a huge amount of data. Likewise, while the GoS database contains 4000 newspapers, they have additional documents that construct a strong database as well. Personally, I liked the nested organization of metadata on GoS, although it made the process a little challenging to navigate. I agree that the pop-out window with the image of the advertisement was useful as well

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