You Follow the Map…It Knows the Way!

When searching for assignments together, Brianne Comden and I came across the “Google History Maps Story”, which we thought would be perfect for our characters, as they were connected in our radio show as grandmother and granddaughter. We also thought it would be great to collaboratively work on this assignment because it would allow our ideas to mesh like they did so well during brainstorming for the “MaNOIRpulators”, and also, we would get bonus points. Who doesn’t love bonus points?! The prompt states:

Use Google Maps to tell a story of historical or literary figure! The only rules are that you have to use Google Maps proper in order to tell the story- the map by itself should tell a story. You will need to create a map under “My Places” and edit the map o add your locations. The story portions should be added to the descriptions in each location, use text, links, even pictures. In your blog post, use the link tool to embed and or link to your map.

This assignment is worth 3 points.

We began by studying our own character dossiers so that we could find a way to link both of them in one story. Since Margaret Pinault, Brianne’s character, is deceased, we decided to make Julia James take a trip to visit her grandmother’s grave in France, while also doing some “business”. Julia ultimately uses the trip to visit the grave as a cover for her real reason to be there: she is working a job for a woman who wants her degrading husband out of her life…forever. Therefore, this Google Maps story follows Julia as she leaves Chicago for Denain, France, the birthplace of her grandmother and the place where she is buried. She leaves the grave for Margaret’s home in Paris, where she picks up “something” and then continues to her grandmother’s art gallery, Gaston Art Gallery. After meeting with a client there, she makes her way to the Sully Hotel, where she meets the woman’s husband and takes him to dinner. Following that, Julia makes an urgent trip to La Seine river to “drop him off”. She then returns to Gaston Art Gallery to gather money from her client and pick up a piece of art that her grandmother left her years ago. By bringing this piece back home to America, it creates an even better cover story for her trip. Julia makes her way to the Denain Airport to fly back home to Chicago, about $3,000 richer and with a piece of art. The details of this story are outlined in the interactive map below, so I do not want to give away too much before you take the trip with Julia yourself.

We utilized Google Maps to create this story, as per the directions, and added text and some images to each location and the lines connecting them. Each connector line is labeled with the place she leaves and the place to which she travels. For example, when she leaves Chicago for Denain, the line is labeled, “Chicago–Denain”. If you follow the map step-by-step, you will be treated to a very mysterious and compelling short story, or at least Brianne and I think so! This assignment allowed us to connect our characters and give them a richer backstory than they already had. By the way, I was very pleased with how I could embed an interactive map into this blog post. It is so cool that I can’t stop playing with it! I encourage you to do the same!

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