A Google Earth-based interdisciplinary project that utilizes historical archives to present a non-linear timeline of people and locations involved in the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre.
In this paper, we describe the design of an interactive cartographic storytelling platform for the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, a horrific incident that had a profound impact on the civil and human rights movement in the United States. This four-day event happened at various locations in downtown Atlanta and involved many people. Although multiple books and articles have been written about the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, they described the past events using conventional storytelling methods. We want to tell this story from a cartographic perspective because the locations are essential to this story. We also want to connect the past with the present because most people walking on the same streets today do not know the history and significance of the locations. Furthermore, most people are unaware that some major institutions are intricately connected to the people involved in the 1906 events. Telling the story this way requires us to handle a complex spatio-temporal structure and an extensive social network, which is unusual in traditional cartographic storytelling. In this paper, we discuss our design decisions and rationals. We believe our discussion will benefit other interactive story designers who deal with similar complex stories.