One of the great practical resources I’ve come across while studying Digital Public Humanities is ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Map of the Roman World. It is a great tool for visualizing trade and travel in the Roman world, but it is an especially rich tool for young people in understanding the differences in cost and time in traveling over land or by water. It also served as the opportunity to get to know some of the great Roman ruins/functioning architecture still in existence today.
Each student was assigned one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites highlighting Roman ruins. Each student did a bit of research on the site’s significance and then mapped its distance from Rome in ORBIS. Students shared their information with each other digitally and in a class discussion. Using their collective resources, students created ThingLink maps illustrating travel times between places of cultural, historical or military importance in the Roman world that we can still visit today. Viva, digital history! Here is an example of one student’s work.