I am interested in discussing how GIS mapping technology can help visualize cultural transformation in specific communities. Ideally, I would be able to show this change at the local and international border levels. My dissertation research compares the development of Mexican American transborder communities on the Texas-Mexico border with Franco American transborder communities on the Maine-Canada border. I focus on intermarriage and language practices at the turn of the twentieth century. I have some experience using GIS mapping technology in the classroom through creating interactive mapping activities (U.S. Southwest module of sacarcims.sac.alamo.edu/default.htm) and in conjunction with service-learning projects. Most recently, I have used it to create maps to illustrate my research.
I am currently working with census data and hope to learn new ways of visualizing information from a variety of sources:
* I am using census data to track intermarriage based on nativity, how language practices changed over time, and gender differences in those practices. At this point, my maps reflect the locations of towns, the growth of railroads, and act as backdrops for pie charts.
* I would like to learn new ways to use GIS to visualize changes in language practices (who spoke French where and when) using census data, the distribution of French/Spanish language newspapers, photographs and/or distribution of public signage, and the impact of school language policies
* I would like to find new ways to visualize intermarriage practices, if possible.
* I am also intensely curious about possible ways to visualize migration and settlement patterns. On the international level, I would like to show changes in border crossing traffic in response to stricter immigration policies and border enforcement. This could include points where border crossing stations or international bridges appeared, and hopefully more. At the city level, I would like to see how the ethnic makeup of town neighborhoods and rural areas may have changed. I’ve seen where later twentieth century census data can be mapped to a detailed local level. I’d like to do the same with data from the 1860s to 1930s – and still hopefully be able to finish my dissertation before the turn of the next century.
These are some of my initial ideas and I am completely open to suggestions. I look forward to discussing your ideas and projects. Thank you.