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Nikki Silva

Nikki Silva

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March 24, 2017

Directory of Oneota Scholars: Tracking Them Down

March 24, 2017 | By | No Comments

My last blog post addressed the criteria of inclusion I am using for the Directory of Oneota Scholars. As I was collecting names of scholars, I had to eventually stop and begin working through this corpus to gather information on their current research interests, position, the institution (or entity they are at), and a website for contacting the individual. To track down this information, I have mainly used Google to search for individual’s names on their own and then with ‘archaeology’ in the search bar. It has been a bit difficult to track down current information on multiple scholars: out of 110 scholars, I have no current information on 14 individuals. I will continue to try and gather information on these individuals and begin filling my website with the content. Thankfully, I have already created my website and a coding template for each scholar, and the site is ready to be populated. I hope to finish populating the site with content in the next month. Please comment below if you have any questions about the project!

Nikki Silva

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February 24, 2017

Directory of Oneota Scholars: Criteria for Inclusion

February 24, 2017 | By | No Comments

As I’ve worked on building my corpus of scholars for the Directory of Oneota Scholars, I’ve realized that I need more than just one page to house information on scholars. I will create a drop down menu with four page options: Academics/Professionals, Graduate Students, Emeritus, and Deceased. The Academics/Professionals page will have individual scholars employed in university settings and those working for CRM firms and in museums. The Graduate Students page will have graduate students currently pursuing Master’s degrees and PhDs. The ‘Emeritus’ page will include individuals who were once employed in an academic setting but have since retired and the ‘Deceased’ page will include individuals who are deceased, but their work remains important in Oneota archaeology.

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Nikki Silva

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January 31, 2017

How to Build the Directory of Oneota Scholars

January 31, 2017 | By | No Comments

In the past few weeks I have struggled to decide how I will build my database into my github pages site, without learning how to code SQL (structured query language), which would be difficult given the amount of time I have to complete this project. I was struggling with using Airtable as a front end developer and I think it will be easier to just create a template in the HTML for entries and fill in the information this way, while still using Airtable to house the information. I will pull from this file (like an online excel spreadsheet) to populate the directory. I will have the letters of the alphabet listed at the top of my Directory page, which will be anchored in the HTML to each section of scholars listed alphabetically by last name.

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Nikki Silva

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December 16, 2016

Project Introduction: Directory of Oneota Scholars

December 16, 2016 | By | No Comments

Project Description:

My dissertation research focuses on Oneota populations living in Illinois. Artifacts attributed to the Oneota have been found primarily in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Because of the variety of Oneota sites and the different geographic areas where artifacts have been found, it is difficult to parse out who is currently studying or has previously studied the Oneota and what has been published on Oneota archaeology. For this years CHI Project I will create a website that serves as a directory of these scholars and lists their publications, areas of interest, and current institutions of employment. This directory will be used by graduate, undergraduate, and PhDs trying to find other scholars studying the Oneota.

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Nikki Silva

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November 29, 2016

Easy Doesn’t Mean Right

November 29, 2016 | By | No Comments

Is the easy way always the best way?

During the 1st semester of the fellowship, fellows are responsible for completing a series of tasks focused on certain topics such as project management, web mapping, and data visualization. As a returning fellow, I completed these tasks last year. Because of this, groups usually include at least one of the three returning fellows to help current fellows complete these mini-projects. I have found over the past semester that though this is beneficial, there are some times when the knowledge I have of an easy way to do something is a hinderance when showing others how to complete the tasks.

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Nikki Silva

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October 28, 2016

Wrestling with The Digital Dissertation in Anthropology

October 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Academia is changing. The old standard 500+ page, written dissertation may become obsolete as new technologies develop and academia starts accepting new models of the dissertation. One model is incorporating digital components (i.e. a map, database, appendices, or other entities) into dissertation projects. Because of my participation and experiences in the CHI fellowship, I have been asked by a few people (including CHI director Ethan Watrall) whether I want to incorporate the skills I have learned to add a digital component into my dissertation. Honestly, I have been fearful of even bringing up the idea to my committee chair. Why am I so afraid? I think this stems from the idea of doing something ‘different’, ‘new’, or something that ‘isn’t the standard’ for a PhD dissertation in the heritage/human sciences.

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Nikki Silva

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September 29, 2016

Re-Introducing Nikki Silva

September 29, 2016 | By | No Comments

Hi everyone! I’m Nikki Silva and I’m one of the returning CHI Fellows for the 2017/2018 fellowship. I’m a 5th year PhD Student in Anthropology and my research attempts to answer the question: How does culture contact/interaction between two groups of people affect the creation of a new community and the use of space at this new location? My work will explore the effects of cultural interaction on the spatial dimension of community by using a multi-scalar approach to site structure.

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Last year I collaborated with other returning CHI fellow Autumn Beyer on the Mapping Morton Village project, an interactive map of the Morton Village archaeological site, where Autumn and I will both do our dissertation research. The project’s goal was to provide background on the Morton Village archaeological project and also educate visitors about some basics of archaeology.

My CHI project this year will focus on building a web resource on Oneota Archaeology, which will include a map, citations, and other information for scholars interested in this topic. It will be a big project and I will only be able to complete one portion of it during the fellowship, but I look forward to continuing the project after the fellowship ends.

Nikki Silva

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April 22, 2016

Mapping Morton Village: Finalizing the Site and Pushing to New URL

April 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

In the past few weeks Autumn and I allowed some of our friends and family, with varying levels of archaeological experience, to view the site to see if it is user friendly. With some of their constructive comments, we first added some language to the intro pop-up to better explain our map page.

We added language to our intro pop-up to explain how to toggle through the layers.

We added language to our intro pop-up to explain how to toggle through the layers.

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Nikki Silva

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March 30, 2016

Mapping Morton Village: Lightbox Images and Captions

March 30, 2016 | By | No Comments

During the past few weeks, we’ve focused on getting some technical aspects of the site figured out. I focused on making our images more interactive by giving each one Lightbox attributes, which makes the images/captions larger and ‘pop-out’ from the page. We also gave images captions on the page and in the Lightbox pop-up, though we still need to write captions for many of the images. For the captions on the page, I created a separate div-class for captions in our main CSS file, which centers the caption underneath the images and provides the styling for the caption boxes (white font in a gray box). Read More

Nikki Silva

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February 26, 2016

Mapping Morton Village – Figuring Things Out

February 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

The past few weeks have been eventful for the Mapping Morton Village project, since Autumn’s blog post on 2/11, we have completed all of the content for the website, and continued working on the interactive map. Mapbox has been a bit of a struggle for us, as we could not get the data for Morton Village to appear on our map. We wanted multiple layers to show the work done during each year of excavation (1980s, 2008-2014). Within these layers we would have the content that we have been working on (see Autumn’s blog post) available as pop-ups on specific pit features or structures. We were unsure how to pull our shapefile layers from Mapbox into our website’s code to create these ‘year’ layers, anything we tried we could not see our data on the map. We researched extensively to try to find an answer to our problem, and were not having much luck until Autumn posted on the GIS Stack Exchange site with our issues and a few users were able to help us.

Our problem had been that we were trying to pull the tilesets, which are vector data, directly into our code, which will not work. To pull tilesets into the code, we needed to create an editor project in Mapbox Classic for each of our year layers, containing the structure and feature data as geoJSON files. Once we figured this out, I converted our shapefiles into geoJSON, and Autumn was able to adjust the code and add the map-id for each of our editor projects. We can toggle these layers on and off in the map, and we have also put content with each of their corresponding pit features/structures (see photos below). This makes things a little easier, because we have both the pit features and structures in the same layer (which we didn’t before) and we can easily format the data in the Mapbox Editor project for each layer and it automatically updates on our map (styling, descriptions, etc.). We have made a lot of progress in the past few weeks and we are excited about continuing to build the Mapping Morton Village interactive map! Read More