Aviation trailblazer Amelia Earhart looking at a map of the United States in 1935. (Photo: Getty)
Google’s new app for iOS and Android, Field Trip, is putting women’s achievements throughout history on the map — making up for the missing textbook pages that ignore or overlook many of the scientific, artistic, literary, economic, and political contributions of women. Meryl Streep once remarked, “Even today, in one typical sixth grade history book, only seven out of 631 pages talk about women. Suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony does not rate even one single line!“
SPARK Movement, an organization dedicated to supporting intergenerational activism amongst women and girls, teamed up with Google Maps to make the Women on the Map feature happen. Street signs, parks, public monuments, and buildings make up much of our common cultural and historical vocabulary, and all too often, women are left out of the public discourse. (Just look at the hassle around getting a woman on the $10 bill.) SPARK hopes this feature will especially help to bring the achievements of women of color out of obscurity and into daily conversation. When we used the app around our offices in Times Square, we discovered that just a few blocks north of us on 52nd Street, jazz legends like Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday graced the stage at the now-closed Onyx Club and made their mark on music history in 1945. And a few blocks over at the Museum of Modern Art, a group of artists known as the Guerilla Girls protested the lack of female artists and artists of color in the museum in 1984.
A screenshot of the Field Trip app. (Photo: NianticLabs at Google)
So far, there’s a little over 100 women and locations listed, but there are far more than 100 women who have made history. Intrepid herstorians can contribute to the database by writing 150-300 words about a deceased individual, along with a location connected to her life. Email the blurb to dana@SPARKsummit.com with “Women on the Map” in the subject line. You’re probably on your phone anyway, so when you’re not perusing your Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, you can learn about women’s contributions to the world right in front of you.