Last semester I did an internship for the Papers of James Monroe in which I made an online exhibit using Timeline JS and actually embedded a Google My Maps in my timeline as well. During that project, I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with those two tools and have a pretty good idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are. At first, I found Timeline JS quite daunting, but I soon got used to the format. I didn’t like how they required you to fill out every last scrap of information (date, media contributor, all that), and I didn’t like how that you can’t italicize or underline words. But it is methodical, and lays out the information pretty well.
My main issues with Google My Maps was that it was pretty imprecise. I was attempting to show Monroe’s progress up and down the Chesapeake, but I could never very accurately draw a line tracing his route and have that line connect with the dot on the location he visited.
While I don’t imagine that using Timeline JS will work for the cemetery project, I do think Google My Maps is the best option for attempting to map out the cemetery. Thankfully, you can zoom in just close enough to see the little white dots of the grave stones, and we will attempt to replicate the current hand drawn map, by dividing the Google My Map into the same sections.
The third digital tool I looked at today was Aurasma. Using the app, I took photos of stuff around my room, and then added a pirate ship or a dragon. Now I can make my picture of Jane Austen turn into Munch’s The Scream. I think it’s really fun, and could be useful for certain projects, and especially to engage kids, but I don’t know how well it would work for the cemetery. There are 3000 very similar looking graves, and it wouldn’t due to have the information get muddled because the app can’t recognize the differences between all the gravestones. Additionally, how would the app do at recognizing grave stones in different weather? If it’s summer when the image was taken, and snowing when someone was trying to use it, I don’t know that it would really work.