SPARK Movement's 'Women On The Map' Google Field Trip App Tells You When You're Near Places Women Made History
Did you know that only 25 percent of US postage stamps feature women? Or that only 17 percent of portraits in the National Mall depict women? Although we've come far over the decades and centuries, women's history is still too often overlooked — which is what the SPARK movement's Google Field Trip app, Women on the Map, hopes to change. With this new project, they are literally putting women's accomplishments and important historical actions on the map. How's that for a celebration of Women's History Month?
The app's development came out of another project spearheaded by the young feminist group geared towards studying Google Doodles — the creative homepages Google erects on specific days to honor important figures in history. In their research, they discovered that only 17 percent of these Doodles featured women, and that women of color made up a measly four percent of them. I think we can all agree that's an injustice, right? Anyway, SPARK's work got them noticed by the tech company itself, who not only gave them the opportunity to help them to feature more women in their Doodles, but also partnered with them to create Women on the Map.
In order to do this, the SPARK team researched women's accomplishments and historical influence around the globe, which is now been programmed into Google Field Trip directly. The best part is that app users don't actually have to do anything to activate this feature, as it automatically notifies you when you're approaching a place where a woman made history. You are then prompted to learn more about that woman and her important place in history. Some of the women featured on the app include abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant of San Francisco, California and The Arpilleristas, a Chilean anti-violence group.
They are just getting started, however; they're continuing to build their database of women who will eventually be added to the app's map. In fact, if you know of a notable woman in history that you think should be featured, you can write a short biography about her and email it to the SPARK team directly.
What I think is the most incredible detail of this project is the SPARK movement itself — the collective is made up up of over 30 young women from around the world, all of whom are under the age of 23! This isn't some sort of large organization with massive grants or connections, but a group of girls who want to change the world. This is truly a demonstration of what a little girl power and a lot of determination can do!
If you're interested in learning more about their new partnership with Google, watch the video below that the group created to inform others about it. To learn more about how you can support the project or contribute, visit the SPARK team's website.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy; Scott/Flickr