Introduction to Digital Humanities

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

Author: My blog

DH: Final Project

My Digital Humanities Final Project

Tigers Demographics Final Project

Our tigers demographics project was to collect data of tuition here at The University of The Pacific, from the years 2001-2015, as well as to examine the increase/decrease in applications during the same years. For our project, we created a wordpress that included an about page for our website, a data page, a charts page, a sources page, and a credits page. For our project, we created spreadsheets describing the data we collected as well as charts to go along with the spreasheets.

This project that my group members and I put together was origionally supposed to be something way more complex; however, we werent able to gather the amount of information that we needed so unfortunately we had to change the project to something different which was what we did our project on. Being a part of this group taught me many things. It taught me how to work better as a team and not just for myself. It taught me how to never give up on your team. It also taught me consideration of others’ time and better time managment skills.

This project was no walk in the park. Changing our topic half way through was definitely stressfull for every member in the group, but even though it was tough, we still manged to complete it. Overall, I can absolutely say that this was an enjoyable experience working with Ray, Mimi, and Leslie because I feel like working together helped us become more familiar with one another and helped us build better friendships with eachother.

DH: Spacial History

Jenna Hammerich’s “Humanities Gone Spacial” talks about the possibility of historically accurate visualizations through GIS data collection. This means that in the future through GIS map data we will be able to accurately recreate what a day was like in the past. I have some connection to GIS data collection via my brother as well as my engineering friend. My brother would tell me about how he would spend days in the field mapping out changes to the telephone poles on the Big Island of Hawaii. He would then have other people use this information to adjust the CAD (computer assisted design) maps so that they now represented the up-to-date information. One of my engineering friends is working on the Stockton levees. He has to go around and track changes in the water levels as well as anything the homeowners may have done to the levees in the past couple years (the data collection has been neglected over the years due to city budget). He told me about how someone had build a basketball court on the levee which is a huge hazard that cannot be overlooked. If the water levels were to rise significantly in the near future it is likely that the levees would not hold and Stockton would flood due to a lack of knowledge. GIS data is very time consuming to collect due to the fact that humans need to actually go to sights to assess and record the changes/status of the land. Yes, using this information to recreate historically accurate scenes would be great and would most likely be the best resource for archiving events but getting around the expense as well as time it takes to collect this data is going to be a difficult problem to overcome. Recreating historical events with such accuracy is something to strive for but not very realist, I do however hope that this does become reality. I personally struggle to visualize this when only given a text description. For people like me grasping the scale of things is quite difficult when not given anything to visually compare it to. I do like the concept of Spacial History but the problems associated with data collection and manpower shortages make me skeptical about a timely integration into our daily lives.


DH: Palladio Maps

palladio map 1

Map 1 & process:

The Map above was made in “Palladio” using the “Cushman-Collection” data set. I did need to clean the data set a little in order for Palladio to read it correctly. Palladio would not recognize the way the Cushman-Collection’s dates were formatted. The Cushman-Collection added a time stamp in the data “T00:00:00Z” and Palladio would not recognize it as a yyyy/dd/mm date. After going into the data and getting rid of all the time stamps Palladio can not recognize the dates and can create a map. After loading in the data I went to the maps tab and inserted a layer. There I went to Places and selected Geo-coordinates, and selected a color. Then I went to the Tiles tab and selected a map layout. After creating the map I went to timeline and selected a time interval. This time interval makes  the map show only pictures taken within that period. Using this tool can help make the map more useful at a glace because it won’t be as cluttered. The above map has a terrain background/Tile and the red point on the map show photographs taken between 1946 and 1952.

Map 2:

The map bellow was also made in “Palladio” using the Cushman-Collection data set. The map has a satellite background and the blue points on the map show photographs taken from 1952 onward (till the end date of the collection).

Palladio map 2

Limitations of Palladio:

These maps highlight the relative location of where these photographs were taken but the map does not show state boundaries. When highlighting the dots you can see the state and city that the certain picture was taken but you can only see this when viewing the map in the site. We are not able to see the picture when highlighting the dots only the URL. So creating a really customized map with this tool is quite hard. Editing the data for the site was not very difficult but utilizing the data to create an effective map is a little difficult. Not being able to embed the maps created by Palladio limits the usefulness of this tool. I think Palladio gets a lot of it’s usefulness from being able to interact with the map and not just look at it.

Useful visual tools or Palladio:

I think Palladio can create an effective map when the using the point to point option along with the size points tool. The point to point tool can show relationships between different points on the map using lines to connect them. The size points tool enlarges the dots on maps depending on the quantity of photographs at a certain location. This visual could be very useful as a visual tool as long as you don’t clutter too many points together. The tiles “Street” and “Satellite” are useful when looking at one specific point, unfortunately I was not able to have both those up at the same time which could be very useful depending on what your data is.

Spacial History:

In terms of Spacial history I don’t think that Palladio would be a useful tool because if you are not able to interact with the map you just have a picture. Not being able to see what the map is showing without a written explanation does not help show the viewer anything new.

DH: Palladio Map

Using “Palladio” I was able to create a map using the Cushman-Collection data set.

Palladio Map Palladio map info

DH: Google Fusion Table

DH fusion tables pie chart

This is a pie chart summarizing the top 10 cities and states represented by photos from the the Cushman-Collection. (Cushman-Collection) The pie chart shows the percentage of photos that come from each of the 10 cities and states. To make the chart more useful from a glance I limited my categories to just 10 making this representation limited. Fusion tables allows up to 100 categories to be represented but going more than 10 for this particular pie chart would eliminate most of the percentage number on the image making it very hard to interpret without further investigation.



DH: Network Visualization

Using Palladio I was able to create the following network visualization.


The visualization was created with the “Programming Historian” data set. After uploading the two tables and telling Palladio what kind of information was given I was able to go to the graphs tab create this visualization. The visualization is about who gave and received help based on the data set. the darker filled in bubbles are the recipients, Ralph Neumann is the large central node so the visualization is telling us that he received the most help.


The above visualization again shows the relationship between giver and recipient this time the darker dots being the giver. I used the timespan tool to filter my results to only show instances of help that fell between time step 12 and time step 13. This tool does illustrate the data from the data set and Network visualization can illustrate almost any data set.

Although Network visualization can be used it can also lead to problems like misrepresentation of data and creating links that may not actually exist in the data. Scott Weingart mentions the creation of relationships that are not there if the user of Network visualization is not careful. Misrepresentation of data, an example being my second image. Without prior knowledge that the visualization was filtered by date you may think that it represented the whole data set. You may have even thought it represented everything in the given time step interval, when in reality I zoomed in and cut off some of the other relationships from the visualization. Bellow is what all the relationships in the interval actually look like.giver-recipient-timespan2

I do think that Network Visualization is a great tool as long as you know what relationship you wish to show from your data and you know that the relationship actually exists.


Scott Weingart, “Demystifying Networks”



Mapping in Digital Humanities

Within these past two weeks, our digital humanities class was introduced to 2 new mapping softwares; Palladio and Google fusion tables. These were the two applications we used to create digitized maps. During the google fusion tutorial we downloaded the cushman collection app onto our computers and uploaded them onto the app. In my opinion, the google fusion tables and palladio were both very similar in many ways but also very different however, in my opinion google fusion tables was easier for me to navigate and i liked it more than Palladio.

With the google fusion software, i tried playing around with it because it was my first time working with it and I found it kind of difficult to work with in the beginning, due to computer difficulties but afterwards I was able to figure it out and get everything going and it was actually pretty interesting and easy to work with. I liked how we looked at the different maps on google fusion and tried to figure out what they were doing and how to read them.

I also found this weeks tutorials in working with palladio pretty cool too. Palladio was also very interesting as well despite the minor difficulties navigating it. In the beginning, Dr S. helped us out and walked us through how to use each of the programs and afterwards she let us play around with them on our own to get more familarized with the programs. While using palladio we learned how to also create maps and explain what the maps are doing. I played around with the palladio features and created geocoordinates. According to Dr S, palladio doesn’t have as many options when it comes to presenting your data to the outside world, however, when it comes to playing around and getting to know more about your own data, palladio is great!

Finally, to connect this back to our previous reading Spacial Mapping. I think both of these programs were effective in working. In the reading, it gave me the impression the when we digitaze maps, they no longer show the original message of the map.

Cushman collection pie


in class we used fusion tables and looked at the data in different ways. and we looked at a map first then we made a chart. and made to a pie. so we played around with it a lot.

Charts from google fusion

Digital Humanities: Omeka

For our Digital Humanities class at the University of the Pacific we worked with an online management site called Omeka. With Omeka we were able to categorize the images we found revolving around Rome, Martyrs, and the tale of Perpetua and Felicity. Stemming from  these broad categories we were able to refine our categories into more specific sub-categories using metadata. We categorized the images into sub-topics and then made exhibits about some of them. The exhibits were about Roman Culture and Christian Martyrdom. Omeka showed me how important metadata is as well as gave me incite on what goes into online archiving.



The Omeka Experience

I really enjoyed using Omeka a lot. It was really interesting and something i’ve never worked with before but i must say it was a fun experience and I actually say that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I learned how to search for images/items to add into my collection.  I also learned how to include appropriate images, ones in which I felt connected well with my exhibit and to what I was talking about and not just including random items. Putting my exhibit together with my group and hearing all of the different Perpetua and Felicity representations from the other groups was a very benifitial activity personally because it taught me a lot more about the story of Perpetua and Felicity, their history, and their backround. I felt like I left with a much better understanding of this story that I didn’t get out of reading the story alone. I feel like now that I know more about the story, I would actually be able to take this information i learned by completing our exhibits, and tell it to others. In this experience with Omeka, I also learned about the importance of item classification and metadata and how correct or incorrect classification of items and/or metadata can either make it easier or harder for others to find your items. Lastly, I found that Omeka was actually a lot easier to use than WordPress. My experience with wordpress wasn’t that good. It seemed too complex whereas Omeka was the complete opposite.  Everything on Omeka was simple and easy to find and i had no problems using it at all.  To conclude this blog post, I want to reference one of the readings we had previously called “Re-use of Digitised Content” by Terra’s. Now the reason why I referenced this reading in particular is because it connects with the exhibits we did.  For example, one of the really important things that we learned was to check the licensing to make sure it was ok to use stuff, wich is basically what the whole reading was about. The point was that although there is a lot of content online, it is still incredibly difficult to source good material to reuse.



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Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!