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287 About MapScholar JAMES P. AMBUSKE AND CAROL GUARNIERI The essays in this collection are accompanied by “The Digital Eighteenth Centuries,” a digital atlas created on the MapScholar platform. You can find the site by visiting MapScholar is an NEH- and ACLS-funded digital platform for geospatial visualization with a special emphasis on historical cartography. S. Max Edelson, an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia, and William A. Ferster, an assistant research professor in the Curry School of Education and director of visualization for the Sciences, Humanities & Arts Technology Initiative (SHANTI) at UVA, created MapScholar to provide scholars with a tool to build digital atlases of historical maps. Its origins lay in solving a vexing problem in the dissemination of academic research centered on complex imagery: how to overcome publisher-imposed restrictions on the number of images that appear in traditional print monographs. MapScholar allows authors to overcome these limitations and display the full range of their image-based research. MapScholar is more than just a program to display geo-referenced or geo-rectified maps: it enables authors to build digital interpretative frameworks around them. In this sense, MapScholar embodies the eighteenth century’s interdisciplinary nature. It permits users to bring different forms of knowledge and knowledge production together to annotate maps with text, aggregated data, KML-shapefiles, and external media. As the essays in this volume demonstrate, eighteenth-century women and men wrote and imagined their worlds beyond the narrowly assigned borders that we use to define our respective disciplines today. MapScholar encourages similar intellectual collaboration across fields. As free, open-source software, it allows experts in the humanities and computer sciences to pursue a variety of research questions and then build better versions of the tool to answer them. The companion MapScholar site for this collection of essays demonstrates , not the culmination of the program’s capabilities, but one possible James P . Ambuske and Carol Guarnieri 288 way to expand each essay’s scope and audience. On page 2 of this site, you will find a how-to guide that will help you navigate the atlas and enhance your consumption of the essays in this book. We also encourage you to visit for examples of other MapScholar sites and to view a copy of the developer’s guide. ...


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