Sunday, April 24, 2005

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

I caught a brief snippet of a C-SPAN program with Brian Lamb at the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The part that grabbed me was their presentation called "The Civil War in Four Minutes," which is
also known as The Electronic Map, is a map of the war with battle lines that continuously move, showing the changing progress of the war. Here, each week of the war has been condensed to one second. In the corner of the map, a casualty counter tracks the mounting butcher's bill - an odometer of death.
It was visually impressive and seemed the type of sexy thing that can grab kids. We hear about short-attention-Americans all the time. I wonder if the key to teaching history in the future could lay in condensing long events in such a visually exciting way. (Here is a RealPlayer link to the program).

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