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Volunteer customizes a web map for the 1947 Partition Archive Project

The 1947 Partition Archive Project, a US based nonprofit organization requested the assistance of a volunteer with expertise in creating a map of their Partition stories. Jason Lampel was recruited for this project and assisted in enhancing the story map. The following summary was submitted by the 1947 Partition Archive Project representative.

By: Ganesh Ananthanarayanan

The 1947 Partition Archive is a global movement to preserve life stories of people who witnessed the partition in 1947 into Pakistan and India. The Archive collects videos of witness accounts in how life was before, during and after the partition. We have conducted interviews in the USA, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and recorded hundreds of videos.

  

We have begun to put a subset of the recorded stories in a map for each of visualization. The map is intended for interested viewers to graphically browse the locations of the witnesses, their migrations, and their current residences. The map also allows for browsing of the photos and videos, along with a short description for every user. Details can be found here: http://www.1947partitionarchive.org/browse.

We worked with Jason Lampel, on many significant aspects of the map that has resulted in vastly improving the visualizations as well as ease of usage:

  • Understanding migration patterns is an important part of the functionality of the map, and Jason improved both the appearance as well as the accuracy of the migration paths (with clear arrows and animations).
  • We added a new category of grouping the entries, “Current City”. This helps viewers get an estimate of the locations where witnesses currently reside, while still browsing the entries.
  • To improve the searchability of the map, we added an auto-complete feature in the search box that populates dynamically based on the characters currently typed in the box. This auto-complete is on both location as well as name of the entries. This is a powerful feature especially as the number of entries in the database grows.

Overall, the above changes (and a few others) have made our map significantly easier to use, as evidenced from the many comments of our viewers.

"Jason not only delivered on the goals we wanted to achieve, but also went much beyond with his suggestions that resulted in the effort overall exceeding the goals originally envisaged."

Ganesh Ananthanarayanan