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Public Digital Projects for Courses

This guide will help students and faculty create public digital projects, as part of a class, as a research project, or as a way of presenting their research or community-engaged scholarship.

Platforms (presented alphabetically. A-L)

The platforms listed below are available from several sources and have varying levels of support from Brown staff. Some platforms are maintained and supported by Brown, for example Brown Blogs and ArtStor. Some are hosted and available for free such as Scalar, or through Brown, for example, ArcGIS StoryMaps. You can also request a domain from the library’s “Digital Scholarship at Brown” service, on which to host your own instance of some platforms, for ex. WordPress, Omeka Classic, Mukurtu and Scalar. Brown provides the hosting, but doesn’t support all of these. You can learn more about the “Digital Scholarship at Brown” service here, and more about Brown’s support here. 

ArcGIS StoryMaps

The name describes it well: StoryMaps is for telling stories using maps. Brown has a site license for this, available through Lynn Carlson at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. StoryMaps can present full-fledged GIS data, but can also be used for much simpler maps.



Wampanoag Homelands, Colonial and Native Memoryscapes


Support Level: 

StoryMaps is supported by Lynn Carlson of IBES.. 


ArtSTOR has more than 2.5 million high-quality images, mostly of art and architecture, including many under copyright protection. It is available only with a Brown login. There are several presentation and collection tools that are built into ArtSTOR; the fundamental collection concept is the group. You can download groups of images into PowerPoint; citation data and links back to original images on ArtSTOR allow you to zoom into images. You can use ArtSTOR’s IIIF image viewer allows you to view images full screen and to compare up to 10 items at once while zooming in on details, and share that display. And you can curate groups of images (including images from outside of ArtSTOR) and share them.




Support Level: 

Supported by the Brown Library. Contact: Karen Bouchard


Further Reading:

Tips for Using ArtSTOR and Luna Insights

Teaching remotely with Artstor: a crash course


Commercial website builders

These website builders offer very fast websites that look good on computers and mobile devices. They are free; purchasing your own domain name (that is, not has additional cost, and must be renewed each year. Most offer student and faculty pricing. If you are concerned about longevity or might want to move your material to a different platform later, you should make sure it’s possible in advance. 



Correspondencia personal y política de una anarcosindicalista exiliado: Jesús González Malo (1950-1965) 

Suffrage in Rhode Island: A Lippitt Family Perspective (Public Humanities class project)

Cuban America (Watson Institute student project)



The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice has created online versions of its exhibits using Squarespace, including:

Memory Dishes

Changing America RI




Support Level: 

These site builders are externally hosted and are not supported by CDS. 

Google Maps and Google Earth

You can use Google Maps and Google Earth to add your own data onto Google maps either by adding pins one at a time, or by importing data (with either longitude or latitude or place names) from a spreadsheet. You can also mark shapes on the map. Google Earth is slightly more complicated, but allows for 3D maps and the importation of historical maps (Rumsey Historical Maps are among the historical maps available).  Your maps, like Google docs, can be easily shared for group work or public display, and embedded into other sites.    




Support Level: 

CDS can provide limited support for Google Maps and Google Earth.


Further Reading:

    Intro to Google Maps and Google Earth