JFinteraKtive: The assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

by Nathan Shephard and Kenneth Field

November 22nd 1963. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald while in Dallas, Texas. It’s been 50 years since the cataclysmic event in Dealey Plaza and the fascination, conspiracies and consistent speculation on what happened and why have been ever-present in the intervening years.

Here, we present JFinteraKtive, an interactive 3D Web Scene of the shocking moments that changed the world we live in. 

Based on well documented material we’ve built a scale model of Dealey plaza to map the story of the assassination. The key buildings frame Dealey plaza as the route of the Presidential motorcade winds its way down Main Street, turning right onto Houston and then left onto Elm. The people in Dealey plaza are plotted and the position of both Oswald and key conspiracy theory shooter locations are mapped. We’ve added contextual detail from historical documents and included the Elm Street underpass, the Grassy Knoll, the trajectory of the bullets fired from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building and the trajectories of alleged conspiracy theory bullets.

Key witness statements and the locations of evidence are mapped using locational markers (inverted cones) that you can click to reveal information relevant to the location. We’ve also incorporated key frames from the 8mm film shot by Abraham Zapruder from near the Grassy Knoll. Possibly the most watched piece of celluloid in history, Zapruder captured the whole scene as it unfolded in graphic detail before him. The film has become iconic. It graphically captured the crime like no other in history.

Acoustic zones summarize the locations of gunshots according to the many witness statements and all model components can be clicked to reveal their description. Additionally, you can search the scene using key terms and you can navigate to different locations using the bookmarks. Using the side panel allows you to turn layers on and off which enables you to isolate different model components.

The model was built using ArcScene, published to a 3D Web Scene and uploaded to ArcGIS Online. This simple workflow allows you to place detailed information in a browser for people to explore themselves. JFinteraKtive is designed to allow you to explore the horrific events of the assassination of the 35th President of the United States. A moment that changed history.

Explore the JFinteraKtive web scene yourself. The following video takes you round some of the key moments:

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3 Comments

  1. tim.fulton says:

    When I try to view the JFinteraKtive map, all I see are the clouds and nothing else. Is it a work in progress?

  2. Kenneth Field says:

    Tim, it’s most likely you need to use a different browser – you need to load it in a Web-GL compliant browser, like Chrome. It definitely works…though can take a while to load at first.

  3. Kenneth Field says:

    It’s also possible you’re clicking in the scene too early. Let it load and zoom in…or alternatively, select one of the bookmarks (along the bottom) to zoom to a location to get started.