Getting the “Mapping Nzulezo” project going is exciting as it is equally challenging. As a novice in the I.T. world, I am expected to grapple with some technical issues as I figure out how to create an interactive story map. Yes, an interactive story map! That is how I envisioned the “Mapping Nzulezo” project. My professor and colleague CHI Fellows recommended J. Dougherty & Ilyankou’s Hands-on Data Visualization, which offers step-by-step approaches for beginners like myself looking forward to creating an interactive story map. Chapters 7 and 12 of this book proved particularly helpful. The authors (notably J. Dougherty) are too generous to provide an excellent GitHub repo template in the form of a Leaflet Storymap linked to Googleso Sheet, from which beginners can fork and adapt for various purposes.

I forked Dougherty’s GitHub repo, which I am modifying into the “Mapping Nzulezo” project. Sadly, I don’t feel confident sharing links to the work-in-progress for now, mainly because I keep making mistakes and resolving them. I, however, plan to do so soon. I am excited that I can rectify most of my mistakes, though. For instance, Dougherty’s forked repo requires that I sync the Leaflet Storymap to a Google Sheet (CSV file). In the past weeks, I struggled to sync the two. After re-reading the authors’ instructions, critically scrutinizing the codes in the forked repo, and watching a few YouTube videos on this task, I eventually realized that I had mistakenly modified some of the codes in Dougherty’s repo. I ultimately had this error rectified, and the Leaflet Storymap and CSV file synced but not without some “sweat.”

I don’t mind the “sweat,” anyway! I consider it a crucial learning curve. I learn and apply I.T. principles, make mistakes frequently, relearn, and sometimes consult experts to assist me in resolving the errors. I consider all of this a necessary learning curve!