I am thrilled to announce JSTOR Labs' latest: Juncture, a free-to-use, open source framework for creating engaging visual essays. Juncture allows you to create free and shareable essays where each paragraph is presented alongside interactive maps, zoomable images, and more. Developed initially for the Plant Humanities Lab, Juncture is now available for anyone to use.
Juncture is open source and free to use and to modify. Adhering to minimal computing principles, it uses static files and open technologies to create memorable essays. All you need to get started is a free Github account. You can create your first essay in less than 10 minutes, and then as you develop your digital skills add increasingly engaging components:
If you're working with images, you can annotate the image with notes about specific regions. You can compare high resolution images by sliding your cursor across them. You can even tag the text in your essay to zoom to an appropriate region in the image when a user clicks on a word.
If you're working with maps, you can place markers, highlight regions, and zoom from place to place. You can overlay historical maps on top of current geography. You can even create animated time-lapse maps to show change over time.
Beyond images and maps, you can embed videos, network and other visualizations, interactive timelines, data tables, and more. And since Juncture is open source, developers can add new and custom components to meet your specific project needs.
How you use Juncture is up to you, but we think it's particularly well-suited for two specific use cases. First, in classes we hope it can be a part of compelling project-based learning, allowing students to develop technical and academic skills while creating compelling interactive essays. For example, many of the essays in Plant Humanities Lab were initially created as part of a two week project-based learning exercise within the Dumbarton Oaks Plant Humanities Summer Program.
Second, Juncture can be used to create new, public educational web resources. For example, Kent Maps Online features hundreds of visual essays about the literary and artistic history of Kent County in the UK.
Like all JSTOR Labs projects, Juncture is a work in progress. We are thrilled to share it with you and eager to hear from you how we can make both it and its documentation better. Please don't hesitate to contact us, and if (no, when!) you do create something with Juncture that you're proud of, let us know! We'd love to add it to our Showcase.