Web Map as Time Machine: An Ancient Story of Conquest is Heard Again

storymap_1…from the Fall 2009 issue of ArcUser

“Lienzos are maps that tell the story of a place. The story of the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, one of the oldest of these maps, is being told on the Web 500 years after the events it records occurred. A responsive and intuitive Web site developed by the Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) and Geosistemas y Tecnología Avanzada, S.A. (Geosistec), ESRI’s distributor in Guatemala, using the recently implemented ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight, has made sharing this cartographic treasure with potentially millions around the world possible.

“For the peoples of Mesoamerica, place and past were inseparable. Lienzos not only recorded the details of a geographic location but also communicated what happened there in a form of mapping now described as historical cartography. Graphic symbols designate people, places, and dates while stylized images of plants, animals, rivers, roads, and other features indicate where the story took place.

“Lienzos were not meant to be studied silently by individuals but were performed aloud for groups by a narrator who brought to life the events shown on the map. The story was recited to audiences assembled at market days and other community gatherings.”

  • Read the article