The primary goal of the project that I chose for this course was to create an interactive map for students and faculty interested in the Arab Spring. When I taught a course on the Arab Spring, I noticed that students don’t like to read articles. I therefore came up with the idea of an interactive map to summarize the series of protests and demonstrations that occurred across the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring.
The project was divided into three main phases:
Phase 1 – Setting up the map: I met with the Director of “Brush Art Gallery” and the GIS/Map Librarian to go over the project and what needed to be done. Then I attended a two-day workshop entitled “Geospatial Approaches Across the Curriculum”. In this workshop we were taught how to set-up a map and what steps we need to follow to make sure that the map is accurate.
Phase 2 – Collecting the materials: this phase involved searching for appropriate graffiti and deciding which ones to keep. Each graffiti included:
- A picture of the actual scene that the graffiti was based upon
- A picture of the graffiti including dates
- The location of the graffiti
- A short biography of the artist
- The story behind the graffiti
- The medium used in the graffiti
- Translation of the text in the graffiti
- Video about the incident behind the graffiti
Phase 3 – Adding the info to the map: the map includes 32 graffiti from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain. Each graffiti has two main points: the first point (in red) includes a picture of the graffiti, the story behind it, an English translation of the text, and the name of the artist. The second point (in blue) includes a video related to the graffiti and its approximate location on the map. Finding the location of the graffiti was probably one of the hardest challenges of this project mainly because names and complete addresses of streets in the Arab World are often missing or incomplete.