Maps, maps and maps

I’ve been playing around with a data set of 95 donors whose names were published in the Charleston Mercury and Charleston Courier.  I’m a data/census nerd, so there’s a lot of fun to be had with lists like these.  So now I’ve got this database that tracks where donors lived, how much property they held, what jobs they held and how many enslaved people they owned.  I’ve been plotting the donations with google maps, which is fine for showing just how widely appeals circulated, but doesn’t really do much else for visually describing the data.
I’d love to do something more with this – either plotting the data on an older map, or figuring out some way to code the markers to indicate amount of donation, or slaveholding/non-slaveholding, or profession.  A few years ago, after an AHA panel on network analysis, I decided that I was going to learn to code network diagrams over winter break.  I’ve similar aspirations for learning GIS, but I’m not holding out hope for it being an easy, or quickly doable task.

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