Civil War Maps… in 80’s style 8bit!

I love April Fools day.  I’m a bit of a prankster to begin with.  A day where that activity is perfectly acceptable, is like Christmas in April.  But I just didn’t have the time to construct a good tale for the blog this year.  So let me piggy back on another April Fools joke…

CNET provides more commentary. For those technical Luddites, just give us a fake chuckle please.

So for today (and maybe a bit more as Google often leaves its parodies out there for entertainment), you can click on the “Quest” option to display the campy, clumsy, retro map display.  And then navigate over to your favorite battlefield…

Ah… the Round Tops, Devil’s Den, and Warfield Ridge…. but that must be “pre-tree clearing”.  Double retro!

What’s more, you can flip to Google Street-View….

Ouch!  Yes, that’s the Peach Orchard seen through the good old 8-bit color palate.

Hard to believe only twenty-five years ago we were calling this “cutting edge.”  The presentation is almost painful. Then again, read some of those American Heritage articles on the Civil War from just fifty years ago … there was another sort of the 8-bit limitation at play there.

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2 thoughts on “Civil War Maps… in 80’s style 8bit!

  1. Good stuff.

    I wonder if that might make for a good research project – comparing the technology used to study the war either from the centennial to now, or even further back, like every 20 years or so. Perhaps look at the publishing of books, when photographs were first printed in them (and newspapers) instead of engravings, how book publishing has changed, the style of writing/editing, the advent of newsletters or other mailed material and then into the age of computers, the internet and now more accessible high-speed internet. I’m sure there’s more material too – such as the evolution from albums to tapes to CDs to music downloading, as I’ve seen Civil War related items in all such material.

    Is anybody conducting such a study? That would be a lot of work, but might produce some interesting data and let us see how technology affected the historiography and even “memory” of the war. I guess some of Kevin Levin’s work touches on the digital aspect of this question (as well as Keith Harris’s work on social media) but is there potential for a larger study starting during and immediately after the war?

    • There are several projects that I know of which are looking at the practical applications of information technology over the last thirty years. I don’t know of any specific to the Civil War theme. But I’d think that would simply parallel the greater study in most regards.

      I’m more interested in the difference in the interpretation, setting aside the delivery mechanism. At nearly all levels we can see a difference in the message… even in the last 25 years. Somewhat refreshing to see a photo of the Peach Orchard and not see the simplistic “Sickles was a fool!” caption. And beyond that tactical viewpoint, we can openly discuss some of the broader aspects of the war, and not receive the dismissal of the old guard.

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