Derek Van Hise: Emperor of Maps
It seems that everyone is trying to become a YouTube star these days. Indeed, for many young people YouTube is increasingly coming to replace television as their primary method of consuming visual media. The attraction is quite understandable. Today you can find channels covering every conceivable topic, from the reviews of latest video-games to in-depth makeup tutorials. YouTube has also become a resource for those interested in history. The video hosting site contains a wealth of
documentaries as well as channels in which historians, both professional and amateur, share their thoughts and insights on a wide range of subjects. One such channel is that of ‘Emperor Tigerstar’ aka Derek Van Hise, a BsEd student here at Missouri State University’s department of history.
Hail to Emperor Tigerstar
Mr. Van Hise has long been fascinated in maps. “I’ve always found maps help put a lot of things into perspective” he stated. “The idea of seeing ‘who owns what’ in the world is neat to look at and I’ve found it interesting since I got an atlas for my sixth birthday.” Thus, in 2009, began creating animated historical maps and uploading them to his YouTube channel. Mr. Van Hise noted that he initially began making maps “out of boredom” but continued making them when he discovered that his work had a following. Today he has over a hundred animated maps on his channel, covering everything from the European colonization of the Americas to the Turkish war of independence. Moreover, as his catalog as grown so too have his following, jumping to over 100,000 subscribers – an achievement that has been official recognized by YouTube itself.
Making it Big on YouTube
The success of ‘Emperor Tigerstar’ has been somewhat of a surprise to Mr. Van Hise. “I never thought it’d become a job for me and it’s always rewarding when a fun hobby is loved by others and pays the bills at the same time.” So what advice does Mr. Van Hise have for aspiring YouTubers? “There is always an audience for your niche.” However, he also notes that “patience is well-needed and well worth it.” This leaves only one question: Why ‘Emperor Tigerstar’? Well, according to Mr. Van Hise, Tigerstar was a character from a fantasy novel series he loved in middle school. However, “Emperor was just to make it different, plus Emperor sounds very history-ish.”
To visit Mr. Van Hise’s channel click the link below: