For my digital project, I propose taking pictures of memorials around DC and looking at what their locations signify. How close are they to the National Mall? What does their distance mean? When were they created? Why at that particular time? Using these questions, the point of the map would be to create a timeline of when memorials were built and the significance of their time and place. This would shed light on the sociopolitical atmosphere of DC in the past century or more.
Having only lived in DC since August, I know the main monuments on and around the National Mall but I feel like there are more memorials scattered throughout DC that I’m unaware of. Why don’t the monuments further from the Capitol receive as much attention? Maybe they do and I’m unaware of it but creating an interactive map with all of the memorials would be fun and useful not only for myself but others as well.
The tool I would use to create this map is Viewshare. For each monument, I would tag the location and include a short paragraph about when it was built, why that time and who proposed the memorial. I think it would be interesting to see where the ideas for a monument come from and who generally supports them. Is it common for certain groups of people to create a committee to build a monument? If so, who are they? For example, looking at military/war memorials, are veterans the core group for proposing a memorial or is it people outside of the military?
In looking at the monument’s histories, I would cite the distance between when the memorial was built and time period of the person or event it represents. For example, how soon was the WWII memorial built after the war ended? Was there a reason for the delay in building the memorial (if there was)?
While all of this information might be too detailed for this project, perhaps I could focus more on the facts of the monument (date it was built, who initiated the project, time gap between the event/person and memorial) and leave the tags open ended. By this I mean I could put a question at the end so visitors would take it upon themselves to inquire more about why the memorial was placed where it was, why were time gaps as long or short as they were, etc. Leaving the paragraphs open ended could be a good way of creating curiosity in visitors when they go to sites. It is way of promoting critical thinking about history. It might be possible to create a sort of scavenger hunt. I don’t know what the prize would be, aside from gaining knowledge (which is always good). Maybe in the future the map could be used for activities like that.