Mapping Woman's Exponent

Upon starting this project, the team was immediately interested in visualizing all of the locations mentioned within Woman's Exponent. In order to do this using automated methods, the complete OCR'd text of the newspaper was uploaded to Recogito, an open source mapping tool created by Pelagios Commons. Recogito uses the Stanford Name Entity Recognizer to identify place names within the text, which are then geocoded using and a host of other gazetteers. Each year of the OCR text was geocoded seperate, then combined in ArcGIS since Recogito could not handle the full run of text for 1872-1914 at once. 

The heat map below displays locations mentioned in Woman's Exponent for all years of the publication combined. It is important to remember that this visualization is imperfect at two levels. First, there are errors in the OCR'd text; second, Recogito may have missed a place name or misidentified a place (e.g., Bowling Green, Ohio instead of Bowling Green, Kentucky).

You can click on the map to zoom in on certain regions and drag the map to view Hawaii and Alaska.

The time-lapse video below includes a heatmap for each year of the Woman's Exponent publication, starting in 1872 and ending in 1914. When playing the video, notice how some locations appear and disappear over time. Throughout the timelapse, Salt Lake City remains the brightest spot on the map, a fact attributable to its being the home of both the Woman's Exponent and the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To cite this webpage, use the following citation: 

Snyder, Marisa, and Rachel Jane Wittmann. “Mapping the Exponent.” Woman’s Exponent Project, 2019.

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