Isabella Lucy Bird (1831-1904) was a British naturalist, explorer, writer, and photographer. Isabella Bird in Japan is an ArcGIS Storymap project devoted to investigating the specifics of Isabella Bird’s travel to Hokkaido in 1878 within her larger history of Japanese and world exploration. This is an extension of the Traveling Hokkaido project that I am also completing through ArcGIS. Rather than offer maps comparing the exploits of various travelers, this series of maps focuses closely on Bird’s history in an effort to consider her origins, her trip to Japan in the larger scheme of her travel, her route through Japan, her descriptions of the Ainu, and finally, how those Ainu villages appear today. It also attempts to provide resources for further research and investigation. The goal is to visually understand Bird’s Japanese exploits and serve as a free and open-source tool for those who want to dig deeper into her history. It would also serve as a useful companion to use alongside her two-volume travelogue, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (1880), in or outside of the classroom.
These maps and map layers were created via a free Public Account with ArcGIS. Each map was produced with the limited set of features that are available to all users, and compiled through the StoryMap application. The data regarding the locations that Bird visited was compiled over the course of my dissertation.