For my digital project, “Map of The Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park” Digital Map, the argument that I am attempting to make is that in the 1930s the people that lived in the Blue Ridge Mountain Region before the establishment of Shenandoah National Park were perceived negatively and that there is more to their story than the ‘mountaineer’ stereotype that was placed on the entire population of people living in the Appalachian Mountains. Practically, this project has one main feature, a digitized map of the 1935 “Map of the Stony Man Region in the Shenandoah National Park” originally drawn by Tom Culverwell. This map shows the social climate of the Shenandoah Valley during the 1930s (establishment of the national park) through drawings that depict landmarks and scenes of the region according to the map maker. This is not meant to be a map for geographic use, yet still has landmarks in their general area relative to the other landmarks, to give people an idea of general locations by looking at this map. This map allows for the opportunity to share the many stories of the mountain folk and discuss the history of the removal of the people for creation of Shenandoah National Park. On the practical side a user can explore the digital map by using waypoints that I have created to direct a user around the map to locations that are important to the mountain folk’s story. It allows for a close up look at the map without having the physical paper map. Intellectually, I chose to create exhibits that further the story of each location and showcase photos of the people in these locations. This choice will allow a user to think critically about these locations and about the people that resided within the park’s boundaries, while thinking about the concept of ideas of poverty, federal power, and the removal of people.
For evaluation of work, I have thought about a few different methods and have landed on the use of surveys. After the project is live, I would like to send this out to a few teacher resource online sites and provide a survey to complete if this resource is used. The survey will ask questions about the technical side of the user’s experience and the ease of use live in the classroom. I will also include questions about the relevance to their school’s curriculum the content has. I will be sure to include space for open ended questions so that the survey taker can have the space to explain further and provide any feedback they may have for the project. As far as evaluation for other types of users such as hikers/national park history enthusiasts, I will look at traffic of the site and which areas of the site gain more traffic than others. After social media campaign is launched that is another good way to look at the reach of the site.