Open Collaborative Census Mapping

Brandon Plewe, Brigham Young University

There have been a multitude of research projects based on mapping address-level census data, enabling the visualization of the historical urban geography of topics such as settlement patterns, occupations, wealth, and ethnicity. Unfortunately, the majority of these have been performed in a closed environment, with scholars collecting their own data for their own project, which is rarely released or reused after the initial project. This project is building an open data system that brings together an existing service for crowdsourced mapping of historic streets and buildings, an existing service for free access to census images and partial transcripts, and a crowdsourcing platform for augmenting the latter with address information and connecting the latter and the former using geocoding tools. This system facilitates the aggregate studies like those performed in the past, but also enables public access and contribution to the database, especially for personal genealogical research.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 228. Public Facing Historical Big Data Projects: Challenges and Opportunities