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A synopsis of the Mapping 1968, Conflict and Change Workshop, held in Wilson Research Collaborative Studio on September 28, 2018.


1968 was one of the most turbulent years of the 20th century.  2018 marks the 50th anniversary of that year’s landmark political, social and cultural events--events that continue to influence our world today.  Are you interested in politics, student riots, racism, redlining, civil rights, wild and scenic rivers designations, Laugh-in and popular culture, or advancements in the space program? Have you considered spatial relationships among factors that diminish social equity, environmental safety, and ultimately, quality of life? Then you are interested in mapping 1968. Whether these events happened in that year or are a consequence of the time since passed, the parallels are not often evident between then and now.   

mapping prejudice and retro images

three images: a fire from a bridge view, a heat map of minneapolis, a group of people gathered outside at the UofM
1958 Cuyahoga River Fire (; Mapping Prejudice (; Morrill Hall Takeover, University of MN Archives

Focusing on the importance of this 50 year anniversary, several University departments, including U-Spatial, called on all faculty, staff, students, and community partners to participate in the Mapping 1968: Conflict and Change workshop. This all-day event was designed to bring people together into working groups based on common themes.  Participants brought their talent and curiosity to apply an interdisciplinary approach to further explore the spatial context of these historic and/or current events. At the workshop, participants learned new skills on mapping techniques that could be applied to any time in history. To compliment the expertise brought to the workshop, working groups will also had the support of library, mapping, and data science experts to help gather, create, and organize the spatial components of a given topic.  

Working groups developed from this workshop were then eligible for awards that acknowledge completed projects and an opportunity to showcase their collective research in Northrop in Spring of 2019, honoring of the 50th anniversary.



Kevin Erhman-Solberg“Mapping Prejudice”; How historic Hennepin County real estate practices have impacted social equity today, “...we cannot address the inequities of the present without an understanding of the past.”

Dan Milz: On the 50th Anniversary of Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature”

Christopher Saladin“The Tale of a Mediterranean City: Mapping the History of Premodern Carthage and Tunis"; Exploring urban history through maps and digital storytelling.

John Wright: On the history of 1968 and the University of Minnesota; Activism, Protests, and the take over of Morrill Hall.  


Workshop Schedule

Timeframe Activity


Registration and light breakfast


Guest speakers kicked off the event with inspirational stories of their research; some with strong spatial context and some with strong ties to the movements of 1968. Participants were introduced to Story Mapping, spatial data, and support resources on campus. The morning ended with project idea planning.




Supported group work time (working in respective groups with the support of technical experts from U-Spatial, LATIS, DASH, and Libraries)



This event was sponsored by Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), U-Spatial, Liberal Arts Technologies & Innovation Services (LATIS), Digital Arts, Science & Humanities (DASH), and UMN Libraries.


wilson library

Exterior of Wilson Library from mid-20th century
The Wilson Library is celebrating it's 50th year. (Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota Archives)