Oregon Historical Society

Map Explorers

Experience Oregon is a permenent exhibition at the Oregon Historical Society featuring the people, places, and events that have shaped the state.

Upswell worked with OHS to create a series of interpretive stations to help further visitor understanding of how Oregon has evolved over timey. The most content-rich interactives are the map explorers. Upswell worked closely with OHS library researchers find maps and related artifacts from the OHS collection to spotlight remarkable moments in Oregon history.

Each touchscreen station puts visitors in the role of historical detective, examining a high-resolution map for clues to unlock an unexpected narrative. From Lewis and Clark’s bumpy journey down the Columbia River to the construction of the I-5 freeway, the map interactives unfurl Oregon narratives of progress and discovery. The story-driven interaction engages visitors who might otherwise be intimidated by historical maps and reinforces a key theme of the overall exhibit: the socioeconomic and political history of Oregon is fatefully intertwined with the state’s diverse landscapes.

At map explorer stations visitors play historical detective, studying high-resolution maps for clues to unlock unexpected narratives.


  • Experience Oregon


  • Portland, OR


  • 2019