Durham Civil and Human Rights History Map

Over 5+ years, the Pauli Murray Project assembled a detailed map about Durham’s Civil and Human Rights history. But their data was locked in a proprietary Google Map, which broke after an API update. Savas Labs worked with the Pauli Murray Project to create a fresh responsive design to showcase the rich detail of these important stories.

View site

Project highlights:

  • Responsive web design

  • Drupal 8

  • Leaflet integration

  • Drupal contributed module development

Project highlights

Pauli Murray was a champion for civil and human rights who grew up in Durham. Her insights and vision continue to resonate powerfully in our times. To build a better Durham the Pauli Murray Project engages a diversity of residents to lift up the vision and legacy of activist, scholar, feminist, poet, and priest Pauli Murray in order to tackle enduring inequities and injustice in our community.

The Objective

Savas Labs needed to move content out of the old Google MyMap (shown), and provide a map which was easy to navigate but also held detailed content for each point, spanning text write-ups, photos, and audio documentary pieces. We also wanted to create a structure that would make it easy for future Duke students working with the Center to add content to the map.

The map as it was pre-migration on Google Maps

Our Approach

Savas Labs worked with Barbara Lau of the Pauli Murray Project to develop wireframes for the new site, and built out a custom Drupal 8 theme incorporating maps both on the front page and on individual site pages. We hosted code sprints to get the Views GeoJSON module ported to Drupal 8, and even worked on updating Durham’s neighborhood descriptions in OpenStreetMap so that the names of historically African-American neighborhoods would show up on the CartoDB basemap for the new site and elsewhere.

The same site, on the new Drupal 8 map

The Results

The Durham Civil and Human Rights History Map now has a beautifully-designed, and responsive, online home, which visitors and native Durhamites alike can use to tour the city. Savas Labs has also written a number of highly-viewed blog posts documenting what we’ve learned about Drupal 8 theming and mapping from the project.

An educational page on desktop and tablet screens

I have so enjoyed working with Savas Labs to redesign our online educational civil and human rights activism map. The Savas Labs staff are knowledgeable, creative problem solvers with a real commitment to Durham and to social justice. The map is now sleek and easier to use, the best since we started it in 2009.


— Barbara Lau, Director, Pauli Murray Project

The Details

  Client since 2015 - present
  Services provided
  Technologies used

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