Visu­al­izing History

The task of making his­tor­ical sub­jects appealing to today’s stu­dents is far from easy. How­ever, according to tech­nology blog i09, one pro­fessor has lever­aged modern tech­nology to accom­plish just that.

Ben Schmidt, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of his­tory at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, used pub­licly avail­able data sets orig­i­nally com­piled by 19th Cen­tury oceanog­ra­pher Lt. Matthew Fontaine Maury and avail­able online at the National Oceano­graphic and Atmos­pheric Administration’s web­site to create a visu­al­iza­tion of 19th-​​century ship­ping routes — one of the most impor­tant fac­tors in migra­tion, lan­guage devel­op­ment and other fac­tors. In addi­tion to the major nau­tical routes that helped define inter­na­tional trade during the 1800s, the visu­al­iza­tion also includes data on weather pat­terns, such as the trade winds, that affected the import and export of goods around the world.

It would seem that tech­nology is rev­o­lu­tion­izing vir­tu­ally every facet of higher edu­ca­tion. The work of pro­fes­sors such as Schmidt and schools like UCLA prove that even the most schol­arly and tra­di­tional dis­ci­plines can ben­efit from a 21st-​​century makeover.

Read the article at U.S. News →