People’s History of Russia: Cities in Stories

“People’s History of Russia” team carries out interviews across the country in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo, Ryazan and many other places and turn them into structured data.

Each fact becomes a dot on a map with the description: official and unofficial name of the feature, type, history, characteristics and more.

I’ll show you exactly where it is located [searches the map]. Here. You see a sharp cliff marked in yellow? There was a ravine here with private gardens during war, people planted potatoes and cabbage and here along the yellow line there was private housing..

Levkievskaya Elena (1963). Moscow

We’ve developed a mapping interface to:

  • Select regions, cities or districts;
  • Search for features and through the attributes;
  • Checkout descriptions and photos;
  • Filter features by type or story.

Visit interactive map

Inside the project

As for many projects now all structured data are stored in Web GIS. Web GIS stores project data and serves it for the interactive map, the website and additional search tools.

Thanks for standardized API Web GIS be also accessed from GIS tools like NextGIS QGIS using which project managers can edit data. For conveniece we’ve also added few web-based tools to upload data using NextGIS Toolbox. This allows managers to stick to any software they like and upload data changes anytime.

Interactive map is built with NextGIS Frontend (NGF). NGF is a set of JavaScript libraries that allow to speed up creation of Web GIS applications, especially built around NextGIS services. These libraries give quick and convenient way to implement map related functionality, create and manage layers, make queries, style and place map controls. Libraries can be used together with Leaflet, Openlayers, MapboxGL Js and Cesium.

Interactive map code for this project is available at Github.


We learned about NextGIS mapping capabilities, studied company’s experience and liked the solutions it implemented for humanities-related projects. Our profession is to collect stories and interpret them, NextGIS sure can map.

Important aspect of working together was finding good compromises between real cost of a function and modest project budget. The result turned out to be reliable, functional and good looking.

Nikita Petrov
Project coordinator

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