Map (NH)

Maps assignment 10 points

The aim here is to provide you with an opportunity to think about Africa spatially and in relation to one of the written pieces of evidence that you have read about African history, to think about space in relation to people’s experience of their surroundings, and to think about change over time. You won’t do all of that in this assignment, but it is a start. Some of you may have already explored the enormous potential of google earth for current information; now all or most of you can check it out and think about its potential for historical awareness.


  1. Download and access google earth on your device (I recommend downloading the “older version” of google earth, not the “chrome version”). If you have a problem downloading then do a google search for any map of the relevant area (see #2) that you can zoom in on.
  2. Choose a location on google earth (or on your other source map) that was written about as a place of some significance in one of the texts for the course, either in Ngugi’s autobiography, or in Noah’s autobiography. Think about whyyou have chosen this particular place. What significance does it have for the author? Then explore the place as much as you can — geographic features, population, street views if available, overhead views etc. Clip an area of the map that shows these features.
  3. Third, go to David Rumsey’s online collection of historical maps — to an external site.)— and choose a historical map that includes the place that you identified in either Ngugi or Noah. If you have identified latitude and longitude on your contemporary map that will help identify the same area on a 19th century (or earlier) map since the place if a town or city may or may not have existed earlier.  Ask yourself some whatquestions about the place you have chosen: what is there now; what was there then; what do the places look like (flora, fauna, geographic features, street view etc. etc. esp. when using google earth for the contemporary) now and then; who lives there now and then; what work do they do etc. Clip an area of the historical map that shows these features.
  4. Write a short (2 pages double spaced) account of your findings and illustrate this account with the two map clips, one historical, one contemporary. The clips can be in addition to the 2 page max of text. Include in your account citations for each of the sources that you have used, i.e. page numbers for either Ngugi or Noah (or a reference that can be located in an e-book version), and a web location for each of the maps used and the date you accessed the map. As always the aim of citations is to provide the reader with a way by which s/he can locate your sources and perhaps take the research further.

Remember, there is no absolutely correct answer to this assignment. You are an explorer so use your talents to find out and illustrate as much as you can within the parameters of the prompt.





Maps Rubric

Maps Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIdentifying a place in either Ngugi or Noah that has some significance to the author, locating this place on either google earth or an equivalent map, and finding the latitude and longitude for the place. 2.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeLocating the place chosen from Ngugi or Noah in a 19th century or earlier map. 2.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResponding to the why and what questions in the prompt and incorporating your answers in a two page essay style document illustrated with clips from the contemporary and historical maps. 4.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFull citations for Ngugi or Noah (author, title, date, publisher and place of publication), and web locations and dates of access for each of the two maps used. 2.0 pts
Total Points: 10.0


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