Creating a Digital Cholera Mapping Assignment

Posted January 9th, 2017 at 9:37 am.

Project Team

Melissa Pashigian, Beth Seltzer, Han Truong

Courses Involved

Anthropology 210 Medical Anthropology


Platform development: Summer 2016
Piloted in course: Fall 2016

Goals and Description

This project adds a module and assignment to Anth 210 that uses a Google Earth Map/GIS mapping approach to investigate the cholera epidemic in London. Students read an historical novel titled The Ghost
Map, which details the 1894 London cholera epidemic and the steps John Snow took to determine the source of the cholera epidemic (he ultimately determined that the mode is water and locates a pump in the neighborhood from which affected people draw their water, ending the epidemic). He is considered the father of epidemiology. The Ghost Map includes an historical map of the area of London John Snow analyzed. Making an assemblage of map layers of information from the past and the present to understand the spatial distribution of the epidemic and to better understand how John Snow investigated the epidemic and what information he may have missed gives students a different perspective
than they might gain from the book and lecture alone.

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