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  Getting Started With HyperCities

Narrative View

What is Narrative View?

You are visiting a HyperCities collection in narrative mode. The right-hand column tells the story of the markers on the map. If you are not here yet, just click on the open book icon to the right of a collection you would like to view as a narrative. As you scroll down the narrative column, each box chronicles the next object in the collection. A collection is a group of map points embedded with interrelated objects like images and text.

Close box

Next/Prev Links

Clicking "Next" in either the middle of the narrative column advances to the next step in the narrative. Clicking "Prev" returns to the previous one. Clicking on "Next" or "Previous" at the end of an object advances to the immediately following object or returns to the previous object.

Next/Previous Arrows

Next/Previous Arrows

The next and previous arrows allow you to delve deeper into each part of the collection. The arrows take you to the next collection level. To go back to a previous level, just click the back arrow at the top of the collection.

Center Button

Center Button

Clicking on the center button will pan the map to the correct region and locate the object on the map with a yellow circle, if it is not already encircled. It will not bring you to a new text box. You can always zoom in to the map for a closer view.

Close box

"X" Box = Close Collection

Clicking the "X" in the top right-hand corner of the current narrative column will close the entire collection.

Time Bar

Your time bar across the top of the map shows the time range for objects currently displayed. Drag the yellow markers to adjust the time span to exclude or include narrative content.



Your pointer should appear as a white glove anytime it is hovering above the Hypercities map area. Pull the screen in any direction to pan around the area.



Adjust your zoom level with the zoom bar in the top left-hand corner of the map screen. However, the extent will auto-adjust as you continue to click through the narrative.

Yellow Circle

Yellow Circle

As you progress through the collection's narrative, the yellow circle traces its current geographical position. The text in narrative view is always keyed to particular places highlighted by the yellow circle.

Previous Map Extent

Previous Map Extent

Clicking this button will zoom the screen out to world view without erasing your narrative's object points.

  About This Collection

Urban History Cover

The Online Multimedia Companion to “Transnational Urbanism in the Americas”-a Special Issue of Urban History

KML Authoring and Online Essays: David P. Levitus

Conceptual Design: David P. Levitus, Janice Reiff, Philip J. Ethington

HyperCities Platform Development and Design: Yoh Kawano, James Lee, David Shepard, Jay Tung

Welcome to the online, HyperCities-based, Multimedia Companion for the special issue of Urban History: Transnational Urbanism in the Americas, an editorial project of Urban History’s North American Editorial Board. The emerging transnational paradigm raises many challenging questions for the historical study of cities. Although it deprive us of national master narratives and the teleology of a unidirectional urbanization process, it also offers the possibility of mapping out the patterns of human life, as they cross and construct cities, nations, and other crucial formations. This possibility challenges our current modes of scholarly communication. This Multimedia Companion is an initial attempt to represent scholarship on transnational urbanism through a hybrid of cartographic, narrative, and photographic forms.

To explore this Companion, click on a right-arrow to the right of each section title, or “header.” To move back up one level, click on the left-arrow to the left of each section title headers. Click on images to enlarge them in the HyperCities’ built-in viewer. First time users of HyperCities are advised to begin by taking a few moments to review the tab above, “Getting Started with HyperCities.”

This Companion is structured by three principal sections.

The first is a set of two essays: “The ‘Splotchiness’ of Knowledge” discusses how the process of mapping in hyperspace re-casts the problem of historical knowledge. “Transnational Urbanism as part of Global History” speculates about how to understand the interaction between self-conscious transational urbanism and the evolution of the international political-economy.

The second section offer online-only experiments in “multi-dimensional mapping” as a way to represent transnational urban history: “Mapping Transnational People and Institutions” and “Cities as Centers of Transnational Exchange.” This part of the Companion offers three principal ways of charting transnational urbanism: 1) people 2) institutions and 3) city sites.

The third section continues the experiments in “multi-dimensional mapping” by displaying the articles from the print edition and a set of additional images which complement the articles in the print edition.

We hope that readers will gain an appreciation of new possibilities and new questions raised by this experiment in representing transnational urbanism through HyperCities, and welcome any comments. We can be reached at:

David Levitus - levitus@usc.edu

Philip Ethington - philipje@usc.edu

Janice Reiff - jreiff@ucla.edu

Cambridge Journal