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North Dakota Online Atlas
Welcome to ND@125!
The North Dakota Online Atlas, led by the University of North Dakota's Department of Geography in collaboration with the Departments of American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Computer Science, History, Integrated Studies, Religious Studies, and Visual Arts, is an interdisciplinary collaborative project that seeks to develop an online atlas of North Dakota as part of the celebration of the state's 125 years of statehood (November 2, 2014). The project is led by Dr. Michael Niedzielski (Geography) and by Dr. Tami Carmichael (Integrated Studies) with support from Dr. Debbie Storrs, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Michael Jacobs, former publisher of the Grand Forks Herald.
The purpose of the atlas is to engage an interdisciplinary group of students in experiential and collaborative learning to map demographic, economic, and social changes across the state, interpreting such changes, and disseminating findings in a digital format. The atlas will provide several benefits:
- It will be an important resource for policy makers, community members, and K-12 colleagues and students.
- It will expand students' educational experiences through experiential and collaborative learning with significant community engagement and impact.
- It will provide a tangible product for public consumption to increase participation of the public as informed citizens.
Making the atlas
In the first year of this project during Fall 2014, four groups were formed combining students from Dr. Niedzielski's GEOG471 Cartography & Visualization course and students from six participating departments under A&S499 Interdisciplinary Practicum. During the first year of the project (2014-2015), there are four groups, each with 2 students from A&S499 and 2-4 students from GEOG471. Each group is responsible for telling the story of a chosen theme through maps, graphs and narratives. Two other groups are working on the technical and artistic design of the interactive atlas. Specifically, the four themes are:
Ethnic change in North Dakota
- Brief description: We are interested in looking at the ethnic and cultural history of the state of North Dakota using numerous secondary resources on the history of the state and conducting interviews with residents that have had family here for multiple generations. We hope to create a visual and interpretive map that can be accessed by anyone who is interested in learning about the rich cultural history of North Dakota.
- Faculty mentor: Dr. Ann Reed (Anthropology)
- Students from A&S499: Cheyenne Paris, Patrick Sprague
- Students from GEOG471: Caitlin Hartig, Jay Sandeen, Matthew Linn, Liesbeth Richards
Population change in North Dakota
- Brief description: We are studying North Dakota's population over time. We are gathering census data from statehood to the present. Maps that show population by county will be created for each census. When viewed together the maps will show the evolution of the state as its population pushed westward and concentrates into cities. Our narratives will focus on explaining the reasons behind major fluxes in North Dakota's population.
- Faculty mentor: Dr. Kimberly Porter (History)
- Students from A&S499: MacIan Campbell, Paul Jensen
- Students from GEOG471: Dylan Babiracki, Luke Belanus, Robert Schneider
Boundary changes of Native American Lands in North Dakota
- Brief description: We intend to give a represent of the American Indian population of North Dakota in this project. It is our intention to represent every "locally" stationed tribe in North Dakota and give a brief description of their cultures. We are specifically starting with treaties, reservations, and trust lands in an effort to narrate how historical events have shaped our state over time. These will be shown in the form of maps that change throughout time.
- Faculty mentor: Dr. Sebastian Braun (American Indian Studies)
- Students from A&S499: Amber Bouret, Sashay Schettler
- Students from GEOG471: Steven Demmerly, Jacob Vandervest, Spencer Tolliver
Religious affiliation change in North Dakota
- Brief description: Kathryn and Luke are writing narratives to accompany maps that emphasize the rich religious history of our state. Kathryn is examining the rise of Pentecostalism while Luke is focusing on Anabaptist groups, particularly the Hutterite Colonies and their unique religious identity. Together, they are also working on a narrative to show, describe and explain the overall make up of religious affiliation.
- Faculty mentor: Dr. David Lawrence (Philosophy and Religion)
- Students from A&S499: Kathryn Kester, Lucas Moen
- Students from GEOG471: Lisa Pimentel, Karl Bauer
The other two groups are working on the interactive atlas website design.
Web design of the interactive atlas
We're challenged with creating the interactive, online application for the North Dakota Atlas project. Our primary goals are: (1) to create a clean, intuitive interface for the students gathering the information, maps, and narratives to easily create and maintain the atlas without needing further technical assistance; and (2) allow for the creation of interactive maps from digital data on-the-fly, allowing for the dynamic creation for maps from available data for integration with narratives.
Our biggest challenges will be developing a user interface that is consistent for multiple devices and screen sizes, including phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops and integrating existing technologies and algorithms to allow for the dynamic elements of the atlas.
By creating a content management system, our application can be extended to further projects and allow other schools or organizations to create their own online atlas. We look forward to helping honor North Dakota's 125th anniversary and helping with a project that has great educational and informational potential.
- Faculty mentor: Dr. Travis Desell (Computer Science)
- Students: Marshall Mattingly, Michael Marti
Artistic design of the interactive atlas
- Brief description: Brittney is working closely with all the other students on creating the design for the map templates and for the online interactive atlas.
- Faculty mentor: Dr. Tami Carmichael (Integrated Studies)
- Students: Brittney Peterson