With many universities continuing to operate under remote learning conditions in Fall 2020, the Leventhal Map & Education Center is committed to supporting teachers and students with digital resources and services. We offer a range of opportunities for remote learning at the university level, ranging from passive resources such as our digital collections and research guides to active collaborations such as virtual tours and more substantive co-development of digital assignments or projects.
Course topics which may relate to our collections strengths include historical geography, environmental history, urban history and urban studies, the history of science, American studies, local and regional history of Boston and New England, GIS and geospatial techniques, critical cartography, digital humanities, and other related themes.
For more information or to request a discussion about how to bring the Map Center’s resources into your digital classroom, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digitized Collections and Research Guides
- Our new digital exhibition Bending Lines: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception is full of digitized maps, interactive tools, and interpretive material exploring themes of truth, belief, and persuasion in cartography and the visual display of information.
- Our Atlascope tool offers an easy way to browse web-rectified urban atlases of Boston and its inner suburbs from 1874 to 1938. Atlascope is useful for making time-series comparisons of fine-scale historical change during this period. See the full Atlascope documentation, and for those teaching GIS courses, the Atlascope data guide may suggest opportunities for bringing these materials into a course on geospatial data. Atlascope also offers the ability to generate permalinks to specific views, and to embed a mini-viewer into websites and blogs.
- Over 11,000 high-resolution maps are available electronically at our Digital Collections Portal, and most are available for download in JPG and TIFF formats. Featured collections include American Revolution, Boston and New England, Maritime Charts & Atlases, and Urban Maps. Some maps have been georeferenced and are available to display over a modern web map.
- The Map Center Digital Collections portal is a subset of the Digital Commonwealth platform, which contains hundreds of thousands of digitized objects from Massachusetts institutions, including the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections.
- A collection of 336 bound atlases in various languages is digitized and available at the Internet Archive.
- We have a set of LibGuides that offer further information about thematic research in our collections.
- Our Tools for Teachers portal features slideshow map sets and lesson plans. Most of these have been designed for K–12 education, but some material is suitable for reuse in university-level courses.
- Our archive of past digital exhibitions includes curated maps, captions, and reading lists on themes ranging from immigration to elections.
- Pull lists for previous university-level classroom tours of the Rare Maps Reading Room are available on request.
Remote Visits and Talks
- The LMEC curatorial and library team welcomes university classes to “visit” our collections and exhibition remotely. We offer broad overview lessons on historical geography and research in the map collections, as well as thematically-focused discussions of object groups. We also offer instruction in digital methods for geography and cartography.
- To schedule a remote visit or talk, please fill out this form.
Collaborative Digital Projects
- LMEC encourages and supports student projects that engage with our digital materials to produce new interpretive frames around the collection.
- For courses where technical training is not the primary earning objective, we offer highly-scaffolded assignments involving pre-built tools such as the Annotated Map Story generator (see examples on the Mashpee Wampanoag or the construction of the Tremont Street Subway) or the MapWarper georeferencer.
- For courses where students are expected to work with more sophisticated digital and technical skills, we offer numerous resources, from IIIF image API endpoints to interactive maps built in OpenLayers, Leaflet, or Mapbox.
- Contact email@example.com to discuss possibilities for collaboration on student digital humanities projects.
Other Digital Map Resources
A selection of digital map resources from other institutions that may be useful for remote teaching include:
- Large collections of digitized maps are available at the Library of Congress, David Rumsey Map Center (Stanford), New York Public Library, American Geographical Society Library (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, amongst many other repositories.
- Mapping Inequality, a digital humanities project using HOLC mortgage security maps (University of Richmond)
- Digital publications from the Stanford Spatial History Project
- The New York Public Library’s Space/Time Directory, a collection of H-GIS data sets
- Columbia Center for Spatial Research’s mapping and visualization tutorials.