After a semester of intense research, I am proud to announce that my final project for digital history has now gone live on the interwebs. If you have a few minutes, please check out the site, which is a walking tour/history of downtown Indianapolis entitled Exploring Indianapolis: Walking Tours of Canals, Trains & Cars at the Crossroads of America.
The requirements for our project can be found here. We used a WordPress platform to design the site and created digital maps of our walking tours that are viewable through Google Maps and Google Earth. Eager to learn more about the history of transportation in Indianapolis, each member of the project spent the semester analyzing one element of Indianapolis transit in a collective effort to better understand what it means to form a civic identity around the slogan “Crossroads of America,” a slogan the people of Indianapolis have proudly proclaimed for many years. My section of the website focuses on the National Road.
I would surmise that part of the group’s interest in transit stemmed from the heated debate at the Indiana State House regarding the possibility of a new and revamped public transit system in downtown Indianapolis. After much discussion during the recently concluded legislative session, the Indy Transit Bill continues to sit in limbo. Some legislators are calling for more studies to analyze how the bill will be funded, but others fear that continued “studies” will lead to bill’s eventual death. “Exploring Indianapolis” does not explicitly advocate for or against the Transit Bill, but we hope visitors to the site are able to see how transportation in Indianapolis has changed over time and how we got to be in the position we are now.
This project couldn’t have been done without the great work of Jenny Kalvaitis and Noah Goodling, who were my partners on the project. They are excellent public historians who I am also proud to call my friends.
Until next time…