MAP: Montana Authors Project

Montana Literary Map

Humanities Montana has created an attractive literary map as part of its Montana Authors Project.

Currently the project includes sixteen works by Montana authors, with over 100 individual locations marked on the map. The full screen map built with a Google map base layer defaults to a satellite style terrain, which suits Montana’s rugged landscape.

In the masthead, a cleanly tucked in tab can be clicked to reveal the titles. Each one is accompanied by a descriptive popup about the author, which includes a personal history, a description of the author’s Montana connection, and a quote, accompanied by images of the book cover and author.

Clicking on the check box will drop color coded pins for the locations from the selected book. Clicking on the pins will reveal detailed information about the location in the book, including an image. The descriptions are fairly short, consisting of details about the real world locations or how the location is depicted in the work.

In each case the popups, like the map itself, is attractively designed. Horizontal dividing lines, well-placed images, and clean text make the map easy to read.

The map is a fairly recent creation and seems like it will be easy to expand. Humanities Montana (http://www.humanitiesmontana.org/index.php) is forty-four years old, which gives hope that this map–unlike so many others that we have reviewed–will continue to be supported and developed.

Humanities Montana is “nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment from the Humanities (NEH)”, and the Montana Authors Project is a part of the Center for the Book program, which nationally has produced numerous maps over the years.

On a personal note, I recently returned from a trip to Montana where I read Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which includes several scenes in Bozeman and along the highways of the state. Next time I go, I’ll be sure to pick a book off this map.

What do you think of the Montana Authors Project MAP? Have you read any of the works listed? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing us at booma@booma.us.