Project ‘44 helps historians, students, and families learn more about the wartime experiences of Allied troops in Europe using an interactive time-series map - now with 3D terrain for an even more immersive experience.
The addition of 3D terrain allows users to explore Project ’44 content from new angles and highlights the impact of landscape on historical events. In the example above, the 3D view makes it more apparent how the rugged mountains and deep river valleys of the Italian Peninsula shaped the 1943 campaign to liberate Italy.
Building a new perspective on history
Project ‘44 helps families understand the ‘where’ of their relatives’ experiences during the war by tracing the stories of soldiers and their units. Users can also read digitized excerpts from war diaries and explore the wider impact of WWII, drawing from the research and digital archives of The Canadian Research and Mapping Association.
“Seeing Mapbox examples and open source code on Github greatly influenced how we thought about engaging visitors with a digital experience that provides a new perspective on history.” - Drew & Nathan, Project ‘44
Presenting historical information like photographs, locations of events, and historical aerial imagery in one interactive web map also helps researchers to better understand where certain units were during the war, helping to map out atrocities during the war and find missing soldiers who were killed on the battlefield.
Memorializing WWII stories
Since launching the original Project ‘44 map in 2018, co-founders Drew Hannen and Nathan Kehler have expanded their use of storytelling maps to take visitors on guided tours of historical data and digitally commemorate the personal sacrifices made during the war.
One of the stories featured by Veterans Affairs Canada during Remembrance Week, titled “Some Never Die”, explores the life of Sgt Samuel Hurwitz who was the most decorated Jewish soldier in Canadian history. The Project ’44 team engaged the family of Sgt Hurwitz and the help of authors Ellin Bessner and David O'Keefe to help animate the story of Sgt Hurwitz’s acts of gallantry on the battlefield.
The Project ‘44 team continues to build their database and guided histories. If you’re building similar historical map experiences and would like to learn more about Project ‘44’s methodology, connect with them.
Want to build your own interactive storytelling map with 3D terrain? Learn how to use this low-code solution and share what you build using #builtwithmapbox on Twitter.