The work that Stanford is doing for spacial history is truly remarkable. Their embrace of new, and foresight of developing technologies is going to revolutionize the way everyday Americans can study history, and the way Historians can interpret their findings. The most direct way you can teach someone about a certain topic is to show them first hand. Since both Washington D.C. and the Western railroads have seen significant change, if not demolition, over the last few hundred years, by showing the general public what ‘used to be’ gives them a first hand perspective that may not have been obtainable otherwise.
The challenge for a Historian is to ignite the imagination of the common public. By developing spacial history, Stanford is setting a visual standard so that even the most unimaginative person is able to enjoy the same immersion as one who is more practiced. The two topics Stanford has tackled are easily among the most important in U.S. History. The District of Columbia is the epicenter for all national matters, in addition to holding some of the most historically significant artifacts and museums in the world, and without Westward expansion by way of the railroads, our history could be drastically different than how we know it today.