Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Author: AHOMM

Digital Humanities- Disneyland Exhibit Final Project

As the semester wraps up in our class, I worked on a group project with four other students building an online Disneyland exhibit using Omeka and the skills that I learned over the course of my Digital Humanities Fall 2015 class.

We looked at 11 different Disneyland rides and attractions, and we analyzed and showed how they changed and grew over time. Go check it out!

Digital Humanities: Experimenting With Palladio II- Network Analysis

Continuing our work with Palladio, we are using another one of its features, the “graph” portion of the tool. This graphing is a network analysis of the data we are using, and networks are described by Scott Weingart simply as “Stuff and relationships” in his post Demystifying Networks. The data used for this experiment was Marten Durer’s Sample Data for Network Extraction, which looks at both the relationships of some people who assisted each other during the Holocaust, and the attributes of those people including their sex and racial status.

Palladio Network 1

My first network analysis visualization shows the relationship between “givers” and “recipients” and I scaled the nodes of the recipients to show the volume of people who have helped them.

Palladio Network 2

My second network analysis shows the relationship between people’s “date of first meeting” and “date of activity”. With the limitations of Palladio, I couldn’t display the results I would have liked, particularly due to the fact that Palladio does not show directional relationships, for example here I would have shown which days people met that led to people being helped.

Digital Humanities: Experimenting with Palladio

Another day, another experiment with Digital Humanities Tools. We are currently playing with Palladio, a mapping tool, once again using The Cushman Collection data set from Indiana University. The Cushman Collection data set is a comma delimited file which contains data on photographs, when and where they were taken, descriptions of each photo, and plenty of other useful information. A fun fact that everyone should know is that Palladio, as an in browser application, does not have an online storage system. If you want to keep your progress, you have to save an offline copy for yourself then load it in again. And like with all documents, be sure to save frequently in case say, your internet connection is reset and you attempt to load something new and all your work is lost. I also ran into issues of the program using up almost all the processing on my computer whenever I attempted to manipulate the map, such as add new layers, change point color, or even zoom in. Even with these quips, I was still able to get some rather nice visualizations by playing around.

Palladio Map 2

A basic map looking at the data with the “streets” filer applied, which displays state and country borders, as well as city names if you zoom in far enough.

 When comparing Palladio to Google Fusion Tables, I would have to say that Palladio wins out aesthetically, but the sheer number of times it crashed my browser and had me re-input the information and settings over and over just to capture a few screenshots makes me sad for anyone trying to do actual research with the tool. Until it is more stable, I think that Palladio needs to pull back on its features for a little while. On the other hand, Google Fusion Tables let me zoom in, out, and move the map to my hearts content without batting an eye. The no hassle stability of the map generator it was using, alongside the online saved data made me much less frustrated than I was with Palladio.

Google Fusion Map

A map displaying the same information as the one above, less attractive, but also much easier to work with.

All in all, when working with these mapping programs, I find it interesting to think of what applications they can have in the field of digital humanities. As discussed in Zephyr Frank’s Spatial History as Scholarly Practice from Between Humanities and the Digital, these sorts of maps focusing on the spatial relationship between objects and events create a distinct kind of visual that is very useful in communicating important ideas to an audience.

Digital Humanities: Experimenting with Google Fusion Tables

In our Digital Humanities class, we worked with a comma separated values file of The Cushman Collection from Indiana University using Google Fusion Tables, the product of what I played with can be found here.

Google Fusion Tables

This is my network map comparing the “Genre 1” and “Location” subjects within the Cushman Collection.

I also played around with various other visual tools within Google Fusion Tables, including network maps of categories that don’t correlate to each other, like my map of “Description from Notebook” compared to “Topical Subject Heading”.

Something else I would like to play around with in Google Fusion Tables would be to see how I can interpret information using the “Cards” feature.

Digital Humanities: Experimenting with Omeka

At my university, in my Digital Humanities class, we played around with the website Omeka and made an exhibit revolving around Perpetua and Felicitas, both their story and themes relating to their martyrdom. The experience can be found here: http://perpetua-felicitas.carrieschroeder.org/

Researching items for this exhibit, as was creating a page of Dublin Core metadata for each item we found. It truly gave me an appreciation for metadata, as it offers more information than works cited or bibliography pages, and is in my opinion, more accessible and informational.

In Robert Leopold’s article, Articulating Culturally Sensitive Knowledge Online: A Cherokee Case Study, he makes the case for withholding information, knowledge, and content on the basis of culturally sensitive material. While I see and understand the reasoning for why this is, I also believe that transparency, as well as the appreciation of culture, is very important in making the world a better place. Archives allow the work and information to be accounted for, retrievable in the event of the loss of the original or physical work, preserved like fossils for future generations.

I do not believe that what we did with Omeka would be possible without the sharing of information and culture, and the exhibits we presented through the site are just a flash of what this kind of archival methods can be used for. The experience we had working on this experiment was very cool, and I really like the Dublin Core standard for metadata. Being able to see how the original creator of the image below tagged their data was also rather cool to me.

Dublin Core information that I inputted can be found here: http://perpetua-felicitas.carrieschroeder.org/items/show/66

Dublin Core information that I inputted can be found here: http://perpetua-felicitas.carrieschroeder.org/items/show/66

The History of AHOMM

This blog was initially created for a university class to use in a variety of ways to actively engage our presence online. As of writing this, we have yet to go in depth with our work on our websites, but soon we will have the tools to better interact digitally.

This domain will be used to host both a living history of my thoughts (what is running through my mind in a current context) and a preservation of my thoughts (things that I reminisce about and subsequently want recorded). Possibly functioning as a public journal of my thoughts, research, and sometimes just documentation on something that I fancy to document.

The title for this site came from a night of brainstorming ideas with a close friend of mine via text, and the name “A History of My Mind” was created and subsequently chosen by me to be the flagship of my digital presence at 7:10pm September 21st, 2015 after 37 minutes of idea pooling. Statistics such as this, (date, time, story) will hopefully be a common feature on this site, as specific details such as these are very valuable to me down the line, and they also tend to be the first thing that I forget, unless it is an event that has a long lasting impact on me, but even then the story gets muddled occasionally.

-AHOMM, September 28th, 2015 9:57PM