Nine Interactive Maps Depicting the History of the United States

American Panorama is a great resource from the University of Richmond that I first reviewed six years ago. Since then it has expanded from four interactive maps to nine interactive maps of United States history. 

American Panorama aims to be an atlas of United States History. Currently, American Panorama features nine interactive maps representing elements and eras of American history. The maps offered on American Panorama include:

  • Overland Trails 1840-1860
  • Forced Migration of Enslaved People 1810-1860
  • Canals 1820-1860
  • Foreign-Born Population 1850-2010
  • The Executive Abroad 1905-2016
  • Electing the House of Representatives 1840-2016
  • Renewing Inequality: Family Displacements Through Urban Renewal 1950-1966
  • Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America 1935-1940
  • Photogrammar 1935-1943

The Overland Trails map depicts the routes of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. Click along the trails on the map to reveal first person accounts of life on the trail.

The Canals map shows the working canals in the northeastern United States in the 19th Century. Click on a canal on the map to learn about the years that it operated, the points it connected, and the typical freight transported through the canal.

The Forced Migration of Enslaved People map is another map that includes first person accounts of life in the 19th Century. Select a decade on the timeline below the map to reveal a list of first person accounts of life as a slave forced to move in the 19th Century.

Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America is a map based on descriptions of neighborhoods written by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation between 1935 and 1940. The descriptions were used in determining the “desirability” of neighborhoods and the risk of lending money to purchase homes in those neighborhoods. Reading the, at times incredibily racist, descriptions of the neighborhoods makes it all too clear how some people were kept from buying homes. 

The Foreign-Born Population map shows depicts the origins of immigrants to the United States from 1850 through 2010. Select date from the timeline then click on the map to reveal where people in that area came from. Alternatively, you can enter the name of a county in the United States to jump directly to the immigration data for that county.

The Executive Abroad is a map of places that U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State have visited since 1905. You can browse the map by location or by names of Presidents and Secretaries of State. 

Renewing Inequality: Family Displacements Through Urban Renewal is a map, cartogram, and chart depicting the cities in which urban renewal programs of the 1950’s and 1960’s forced people from their homes and neighborhoods. Clicking on the map reveals information about the impact of urban renewal programs within the neighborhoods of cities. 

Electing the House of Representatives is an interactive map and timeline of election results from 1840 through 2016. The map displays each Congressional district, who won it, and which party they represented. The map also indicates the “strength” of the victory and whether or not the representation switched from one political party to another. 

Photogrammar is a mapped collection of photographs taken by the Office of War Information and the Farm Security Administration between 1935 and 1944. The collection can be browsed according to theme, county, and city. Select an image on the map to learn more about where and when it was taken. 


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!