This data represents the kind of spending that is involved in choosing our president. The importance of so called swing states in clenching the nomination can be clearly identified by just looking at this map and seeing the kind of spending the candidates are dishing out in TV ads, particularly in the state of Ohio where both candidates are spending the most money by very long stretch of the margin with respect to the other states. Hence the reason they coined the term “battleground state”.


Within this map shows the data for the leading Countries in respect to the amount of television sets that their people own. A tool such as this is invaluable to what our group, Instigators, needs to display the data we will utilize to tell the impact of the debates on swing state voters.

Being able to visualize exactly the impact of the debates will add depth to the information, and in return give the audience a more nuanced expression of what we are presenting. This tool will play an extremely vital role in our process as we now have the ability to present multi-dimensional data to tell our story.


This was quite an interesting experience for me. Frankly, I was unaware that I was able to create my own personal maps on Google Maps and I had quite a lot of fun learning in the ins and outs of it. Personally, even though the professors showed us a couple of tutorials on how to create our own maps, I did not bother to look at them. I have always been like this, especially when I start using something new or start a new game, I never bother to look at the instructions or the tutorials — I find it a lot more satisfying when I take the time to go through everything, learn all the different functions that were available to me through trial and error. I think that I did just fine considering.

The reason why I decided to do poll sites in Kings County, was to get myself to try to look at a lot of data and try to combine it together. For some reason, the poll location list given by NYC listed almost all of their locations several times, and thus I had to keep track of which locations I had already inputed into my map, and which were new. This would be a valuable skill for me when I am working on my group project, as it ties in with data mining, in the sense that there will be a lot of material out there for my group to research, and we have to keep track of what information we already have, what information is new, and what information will ultimately be useful for our final work.

I also learned that being a historian, or someone who inputs data constantly, has quite a tedious job. There are 20 assembly districts in the Kings County, but I decided not to input them all for this assignment (the whole point of the assignment was to try a new tool, right?). In my map, I inputted the voting polls for the 41st, 42nd, 47th Assembly District and then the 48th Assembly District as I am registered to vote within that district.


Source: Kings County – Poll Site Location



View &

This map shows the presidential candidates and their running mates schedules for today 10/22/2012. The map tool could be a very optimal tool in our group project, particularly because it helps to give people a visual take on a topic that might otherwise be a bit boring without some kind of visual aid. Since our topic is based on how the debates effects the winner of the presidential election, having a map that shows the changes in different states and county’s might be a good aid for our project.

Overall I find Google’s my map tool very useful for other projects that I might want to incorporate it into. I recall playing with Google my map about two or three years ago but now that I understand how you can imbed it in your own writings and blog post it makes much more sense to me.


First off, mapping this train route is a very frustrating process. More time consuming than I imagine.

From the beginning I had this mindset that this assignment is going to be a cake walk. I thought I will just Google csv files and imported to Google fusion table and click visualize. Well, that did work out like what I expected because not csv has locations where the fusion table can plotted on the map. That plan failed. So I decide to use to find one table and click visualizes and writes about it. But my historical morale decide this was too easy and that was not what the professors intended us to learn from it. So I ponder and came to the idea, that lets make a map about my commute to Baruch College. How hard could it be? Right………………?


Boy I was WRONG! The plotting was easy but drawing out the exactly route was a pain in a place sun don’t shine. I could honestly say it took me a good 30 minute to an hour trying to draw out the route, while plotting the location only took 5 minute.

While in the process of making this map, it got me to reflect about the historical thinking that can be applied to my journey to Baruch. What was the reason I taking this route? What are other alternates? What is the thought process behind my decision? How did my past route decision affect today? How might my map become a larger argument? How does it involve Spatial history?  Does my map tell a story? “how the spatialization of data deepens your understanding of the data itself?”

I took this route because it’s the fastest route. I have taken other route before; its 30 minute slower. Find the fastest route to Baruch, and this route is the fastest.

The hardest question to me is how my map might become a larger argument and how does it involve spatial history? My answer is I’m not sure. My guess is that, my map could be use, if there ever a historical projects done about the commute to Baruch College. It involves Spatial history because it tell a unique individual story about my journey to Baruch College. The only answer I could come up with for the last questions is that my commute is 11.08 miles to Baruch, give or talk few feet.

The end result was not I exactly expected but it was pretty close.


Average Life Expectancy of Countries in Africa [entry-title]

I really struggled to get any sort of map off the ground using Google Fusion Maps. It literally took me the entire weekend just to figure out how to use the right data and how to embed it into the blog and I still don’t think I’m doing this right!!!

I really would LOVE to be able to do this, and maybe if there was a way for my group to find data on Voting Ages in the United States we could use this program, but the fact of the matter is the Fusion Maps is really picky with its data – by that I mean, it really doesn’t work unless you have super accurate data that’s presented in a certain way.

The map shows the life expectancy for countries in Africa between 3 – 100. Red being the youngest deaths and blue being the oldest.



Mapping data will prove essential in visualizing certain raw data we come across. Laying things out visually can prove to give us another perspective on the information. In this example, I’ve highlighted the United States epidemic when it come to incarnation. We are by far leading all of the major powers in the world with the number of people we are imprisoning each year. Our crime rates have fluctuated over the years, but our imprisonment rate has steadily increased. When this data is expressed on a global map, we can comparatively look at the United States and other countries around the world.

Map Source


I don’t know how either maps or the fusion tables will help us. I don’t think we will use these tools, because we are focused on comparing time rather than space. I actually found them frustrating to use. The Fusion Tables would not show me the location of the points I picked at the optimal view. Additionally, my entries weren’t saved properly, forcing me to make edits. The program is clearly in beta version, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone for serious projects. I also tried My Maps, and I wasn’t satisfied with it as well. Searching for a new location hides all previously marked locations, which might not have been a big deal for somebody else, but it definitely was for me.

I couldn’t write anything positive about my experience of making this map. I wouldn’t use Fusion Tables or My Maps unless I had no other choice. Perhaps there is potential value in using them, but the problems with accessibility make it hard for me to see that value.


Google mymaps is a great tool for our group, instigators, to use towards our project. After using it I was impressed with the ability to pinpoint locations and it seemed relatively easy to navigate and save the work.
This could be an essential tool for our group because we are focusing on a particular state’s voting behavior in regard to the debates. We can display all the polling areas in a state and as I did, by county. I would like to gain experience with google fusion tables in the future because I think that could also be a huge asset for our project.


Maps and fusion tables are quite powerful visual tools that can be used to reflect variety of data from results of the US presidential elections by state to the number of nuclear weapons by country around the world. In this example I used data to generate a gradient map of energy consumption data by state in 2009 [in trillion Btu]. Source: Official Nebraska Government Website

As part of my group’s project, we can present different types of statistic based on geographical comparison for different historical presidential elections. We can look at median income levels by state, unemployment rate, percent of income paid in taxes, republican vs democratic voting states. This will assist us in visually supporting the findings of our team’s research.


My group would benefit a lot if we used maps and data to express our information. Since we are focusing on different elections throughout history, we can use data from voters to how they felt about different president’s campaign. We can take data from individual states or the country as a whole and see how one sets of ideas favored some voters and another set of ideas favored other voters (Republican and Democratic).

The value of mapping can be useful when researching Presidential Elections, because many surveys are presented in a map form. One of the more famous maps is the one that shows which state will go Republican (Red) and Democratic (Blue). Im sure based on the topic of my group’s project we will be looking at this type of map from multiple elections or creating this type of map to help facilitate our project.


Blog Work:

By 8 am Monday morning, create a map using Google My Maps or, if you’re ambitious, Google Fusion Tables. You should set aside at least two hours for doing this project.

Remember: no matter which tool you choose, you need data to plot on your map. Data includes photos or videos that you either create or compile from the web (make sure you cite your source), or restaurant reviews that you write yourself. Data also includes datasets like census statistics. You can use any data that you want, including public data you can find via this search and which can easily be integrated with a map using Google Fusion Tables.

Your map can be related to your group’s project, but it doesn’t have to be. You might do a map of voting locations in your borough. Or of votes by age in the election of 1960. Or restaurants in your neighborhood. Or of landmarks you pass on your commute to school. Or of international coffee production. Or of population numbers by county in New York State.

The goal of this project is to choose data, and then to visualize it on a map.

As you create your map, think about how the data you’re plotting might become part of a larger argument. Think about how the spatialization of data deepens your understanding of the data itself.

To use Google My Maps, log in to Google and go to

Then, click on “My Places,” then click “Create Map.”

After doing so, you’ll see an interactive tutorial that will walk you through the process of creating a map.

Here’s a tutorial on using an earlier version of Google My Maps (the first few steps are different, but after that they’re similar)”

And, here’s a tutorial on building maps with Google Fusion Tables:

After you’ve created the map, embed it on our blog along with a 2-3 paragraph discussion of the potential value of mapping for your group’s project.  Here are instructions for embedding:

From Google Maps:
-Create map
-In Google Maps, click share icon (next to print icon in upper-left hand corner).  Copy the embed code (e.g., <iframe width …>).
-On our Blogs@Baruch WordPress site, start a new post.
-Choose “HTML” view in upper-right hand corner of post editor (tab next to “Visual”)
-Past embed code in post editor
-Preview or Publish post and you will see your map embedded

From Fusion Tables:
-Create Fusion Table
-Select Visualize/Map from the top menu
-Click “Get embeddable link” in upper-right hand corner of map (e.g., “<iframe width …>”)
-On our Blogs@Baruch WordPress site, start a new post.
-Choose “HTML” view in upper-right hand corner of post editor (tab next to “Visual”)
-Past embed code in post editor
-Preview or Publish post and you will see your map embedded



Reading Review

William G. Thomas III and Edward L. Ayers, “The Differences Slavery Made: A Close Analysis of Two American Communities.”

  • Goals
    • Non-linear presentation of data
    • Driven by paradox seen in secondary literature: “The difference slavery made is widely recognized to be profound and yet study after study has shown that slavery did little to create differences between North and South in voting patterns, wealth distributions, occupation levels, and other measurable indices.”
  • Comparative Case Study
    • Why these two counties?
  • Mode of Presentation
  • Strengths/Weaknesses of Essay
    • Validity of question
    • Strength of evidence
    • Accuracy of interpretation and analysis of evidence
  • Technologies (GIS, XML, SPSS)
  • Data sets

Group Work

  • Historicizing your topic
  • Establish a plan for digesting the secondary sources you’ve identified as background reading on your topic by next Wednesday (and any others you’ll need to add).
  • Make sure you have a communication system in place and a process for documenting all communication

Examples of Maps


By Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 5:50pm:

  • Also:
    • Review the comments we left on your group’s post sharing the secondary sources you’ve identified  (we will comment by noon on Tuesday). Someone from each group must respond to our feedback by class time on Wednesday.
    • Establish a strategy within your group for digesting the secondary sources you’ve located. This should be the beginning of your background reading, which should NOT be limited to what you’ve selected here. Be prepared to present this strategy to the class on Wednesday.

Group Projects:

  • Secondary source: a book or article
  • Sharing workload
  • Will focus on group projects on Wednesday
“GIS often ends up emphasizing not the constructed-ness of space but rather its given-ness, which is fine if you are setting out to bomb something or go out to eat, but not so good if you are trying to understand a wider spectrum of human constructions of space over time.” – Richard White

Guest Speaker:

Prof. John Maciuika, Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History, Baruch College. 

Reading Review:

Richard White, “What is Spatial History?” Spatial History Lab: Working paper; Submitted February 1, 2010.

  • The Spatial Turn
  • Collaborative process of creating “visualizations”
  • “Space itself is historical” [it is something that humans produce over time, especially through movement]
  • Relation of representational space to actual space — can be revealed through layering of data
    • Representations of space and representational space
  • Mapping as a tool for *doing research,* not just communicating information

By Monday, Oct. 15, at 8:00am:

  • Complete Reading:
    • Richard White, “What is Spatial History?” Spatial History Lab: Working paper; Submitted February 1, 2010.
    • Explore Come with a question about historical maps for our guest speaker.
  • Blog Post(s):
    • Each member of your group
      • In 200-300 words answer the following questions: How could your group use text mining to answer the historical question(s) you’ve proposed thus far?
    • One member of the group:
      • post 3-5 secondary sources your group will be reading to provide background information.
      • For secondary sources, you might look at JSTOR, search the library catalog, or consult a librarian. Comment on this post if you have any questions that you think we can help you with.