How to Contribute
Mapping Land Theft is a project with two components: The first component is a map which shows the polygons of each treaty arranged on a time slider. These polygons are created by analyzing the texts of the treaty documents. The second component is a Wikipedia environment with pages for each treaty. These pages contain transcriptions of the treaty texts as well as additional context, materials, and analyses of the data.
Our goal is to present the data from the original treaty documents in both an interactive GIS and a Wiki environment. This means that each treaty is represented as a polygon on the map, while the treaty texts are available in the Wiki environment. The Wiki environment can also be a place for further analysis of the treaties.
Transcribing Source Materials into Wiki
See this Transcription Guide for a helpful guide on preparing transcriptions of the original documents for this wiki site.
The transcription guide shows the steps involved in creating a transcription from the source treaty documents and preparing it for publishing on it's wiki page. The guide uses treaty 24 as an example.
Creating Polygons for the Map
See this Polygon Creation Guide for help on interpreting the treaty texts and creating polygons for the project map.
This polygon creation guide shows some steps, processes and techniques, and considerations in creating a polygon to be added to the Mapping Land Theft interactive map. Steps involved in researching and creating polygons for the map can be unique to each treaty, and so this guide should be developed as new helpful techniques, resources and hints are found. The guide follows the development of the polygons for treaty 24, 28.5, and 30.
Users are encouraged to contribute further analyses, perspectives and narratives that can provide deeper understandings of the treaties, the source documents and their contexts. For example, how does one treaty or surrender interact with other previous, contemporary or future treaties and surrenders? Or perhaps someone might be inclined to develop a comparative and contextual analysis of all treaties of a certain region or time period. Another might want to create a page with a list of all of the treaties in which Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Claus participated which could be called William Claus - Treaties.
Community and Project Development
Any contributions toward developing this wiki environment to grow and create connections among users, contributors and research are welcome. Take the initiative or get in touch with the project administrators. We are looking forward to hosting editathons for this site and mapathons for creating more polygon features for the interactive map, as well as collaborating with GIS courses and other research groups.