This fall, I have discussed my plans to represent Nzulezo’s origin and migration history in a digital format. I want to create an interactive, web-based visualization of Nzulezo people’s seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century history. Please see my previous post for a brief discussion of the Nzulezo people and their past. Last week (Friday, December 2, 2022), I shared my two-page vision document with my colleague CHI Fellows and presented specifics of how I plan to create this web mapping visualization. Today, I want to briefly discuss some digital resources I plan to use to develop this interactive web map.

I am resolved to use some storytelling frameworks from I am considering any of these low-code Mapbox storytelling templates. I am drawn to these templates because they (1) provide a low-code, modularized template that anyone can clone and readapt and (2) work well for any story that highlights multiple locations, especially ones that include custom map data. The Nzulezo story connects several geographical locations in West Africa, and I believe these templates would allow me to effectively illustrate the Nzulezo story. Another significant attraction to the Mapbox storytelling templates is their unique feature of containing both a story content file (config.js) and a map story file (index.html). The story content file will allow me to incorporate short historical essays about Nzulezo people’s pre-colonial journeys and lived experiences, while the map story file will sync the historical texts to the geographical locations where the people sojourned. Thus, I could trace the people’s movements from the Middle Niger (in West Africa) to the coast of present-day Ghana while infusing short stories about their lived experiences in different locations.

I am excited about this project and really look forward to beginning in the next couple of days, although the building of the project will begin in January 2023.