Wow! I always wanted to learn how to play with kepler.gl, and thanks top my DH course, I can say that I am getting more comfortable with the capabilities of this platform. As a very robust mapping tool, Kepler.gl facilitates analysis of large data sets by generating a variety maps (points, clusters, categories, networks, and heatmaps) with filters and layers.
The cluster map visualizes aggregated data, displaying the location where a group of interviews took place close to one another. The heatmap would be the one showing the density of points. While the point map shows points for a specific interview based on its location (lat/lng), the heatmap shows those hot areas where there is hot” areas where there are multiple points.
The time map visualizes when interviews took place. Its timeline feature lets you reveal the order in which the interviews were taking place across time. The Category map displays the interview sites of “house” slaves (magenta) and of “field” slaves (light pink).
The network map, which was one of the most interesting visualizations, shows where the interviewees had their interviews, most probable, the cities within continental U.S. where they moved to (arcs). It also displays the location of enslavement (dots/points).
Kepler.gl allows for an interactive experience through the time map, confirming Presner & Shepard’s assertion regarding dynamic geo-visualizations: “Maps and models are never static representations of or accurate reflections of a past reality, they function as arguments or propositions that betray a state of knowledge.” (254)
When comparing the source color (location of interviews) and the target color (location of enslavement), this network map actually shows a relatively close distance between the two. Perhaps family ties kept these individuals from moving to the West? One would have to consult the corpus with a tool like Voyant to better assess and make assumptions.
Presner, Todd, and David Shepard. “Mapping the Geospatial Turn.”
In The New Companion to Digital Humanities,
edited by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, 247-259. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2016.