About: Disappearing Homelands

This project was developed and funded by the National Park Service, in partnership with dozens of Native Nations, the Organization of American Historians, Texas A&M University/ the Gulf Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, and Auburn University.

Tribal Partnership

The National Park Service is grateful to have shared the experience of building this project with more than 60 federally-recognized tribal partners. Although not all Nations chose to have their stories published, partners provided feedback on the project and reviewed research.

Historic Research

Research for this project was conducted by an interdisciplinary team of historians and geographers at Auburn University. Dr. Kathryn H. Braund and graduate researcher Alex McClure Colvin completed primary and secondary research of tribal lands in the time periods c. 1790, c. 1810, c. 1815 and c.1840, according to available treaties, land cession maps, and other resources. Geographer and anthropologist graduate researcher Kelly Ervin, supervised by Dr. Philip Chaney, took the historians' narratives of tribal lands and rendered them as GIS shapefiles overlaid on a current U.S. map using a geographic coordinate system. This data was shaped by the NPMap team into the final version you see here.

Technical Development

There are three technical components that drive these maps: the custom historic basemaps, the ability to filter and query tribes through time periods using keywords, and the functionality and styling components for interacting with the information on the maps.

The custom cartography was done using Mapbox Studio with data from the National Historical Geographic Information Systems, the data hosting and filtering/ querying capabilities are driven by CartoDB, and the functionality and styling of the application were done using NPMaps.js.

Last updated: June 18, 2015


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