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A web-based visualization of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions dataset.


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Antislavery Petitions Visualization

Author: Garth Griffin (
Date: July 10, 2015

This project builds on the work of the Antislavery Petitions Massachusetts Dataverse [1]. The current deployment is for a Map View that enables easy geographic and temporal exploration of the dataset. A live demo is available at or you can run the demo locally by following the instructions in the Usage section of this README. A detailed writeup can be found in the included pdf file petitions_mapview_project_documentation.pdf.

The project has been done in collaboration with Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study [2] and with help from the Harvard Institute of Quantitative Social Science [3].


The web application uses Flask. To install the dependencies, run:
pip install flask httplib2

To run the demo locally, cd to this directory and run:
python web/

Running the development server should make the app available at http://localhost:5000 in your web browser.

To make updates to the dataset underlying the application, use the code pipeline in the preprocessing/ directory: -- For geocoding locations.
makewebdbpy -- For assemebling the data file used in the web application.

Implementation details will be available in the detailed writeup.


Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (PW-5105612), Massachusetts Archives of the Commonwealth, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, Institutional Development Initiative at Harvard University, and Harvard University Library.

Copyright and license:

This file is part of Antislavery Petitions Visualization.

Antislavery Petitions Visualization is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Antislavery Petitions Visualization is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with Antislavery Petitions Visualization. If not, see

Please see the file LICENSE for the license text.




A web-based visualization of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions dataset.







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