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If you find these materials interesting, we recommend that you also visit similar efforts–we keep a running list of relevant resources at, but notable parallels includeefforts–no guarantees that these links still work, tho...


  • Not a curricular resource, but: Check out Esri's map of GIS in US K12 contexts. Lots of tabs in there! Do explore.  

Our files are currently organized chronologically by topic. 

circa 4000 BCE - 0: Cradles of Civilization (as per AP World History)


Description: Uses a vendor-provided basemap to present discussion of Triangle Trade: teacher (or students) can drag on and manipulate images of slaves (slave ship Brooks), cotton, sugar, molasses, and rum. Also includes portraits of John and Moses Brown and the Brown University logo. Second page of file has info on Brown family for discussion of role of slavery (or profits from slave trade) in building this institution. 

1787-1790Constitutional Convention v. First Census

Google Earth file of relevant places in Philadelphia developed by Jeff Snyder, 2010: Constitutional_Convention_places_ver02.kmz

Description: Provides viewers with a sense of the space occupied by delegates at the Constitutional Convention (primarily the historic district). Includes an image overlay of a period map of Philadelphia plus placemarkers for Independence Hall, local boarding houses and gathering places, etc.

GIS file of population data developed by Jeff Snyder, 2010: Constitutional_Convention_ver01.m3vz

Description: Uses the 1790 census to explore ArcGIS Online map (Tom Hammond, 2020) with layers for population estimates used at Convention (see source, below), plus 1790 census, plus ratio layer to compare overestimates (CT) vs. underestimates (everywhere else, but particularly the south):

To be further explored: Unpacking the political dynamics of the 3/5ths Compromise--how to balance the voting power of southern and northern states?

Still in development: Adding layers showing the data used by the convention members, removing states to conform to the 1787 map (e.g., Vermont).Source: Population estimate data drawn from notes by David Brearley, presented in Potter, L. (2006). Population estimates used by Congress during the Constitutional Convention. Social Education, 70, 270-2. Brearley's numbers are transcribed into a publicly-available Google Spreadsheet

1787 - 1958: Addition of U.S. State Governments


1790 - 1870: Antebellum African-American populationpopulation / Enslaved populations under the Constitution

My World GIS file developed by Doug Scott, 2010: Af-Am_pop_1790-1870_ver02.m3vz; version for Arc by Tom Hammond, 2012 – see filelist.

ArcGIS Online version – covering only 1790, 1820, 1840, and 1860 – by Tom Hammond, 2020:

Description: Allows users to inspect population data to view the gradual extinction of slavery in the north and the intensification of slavery in the south--in 1790, the southern states' populations had at most 40% (approx.) enslaved persons; by 1860, this figure had risen to almost 60%. See teaching notes for suggestions. 

Still in development: Adjusting the organization of population data and map displays. For example: Maine is presented as a separate state; it was actually part of Massachusetts until 1820

1791 - 1794: Whiskey Rebellion


1962: Cuban Missile Crisis

ArcGIS Online map developed by Tom Hammond, 2019. Google Earth file developed by Yuanyuan Zhang, 2010: Soviet vs US warheads.kmz




Contemporary / non-chronological material


Description: Overlay that colors each nation (following the national borders, with some errors), making Google Earth's satellite data more closely resemble a traditional globe that displays political geography. Note that it has some mistakes / lack of current data (e.g., Ireland is unified; Sudan isn't split).