Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Blog

Jennifer Bengtson

By

September 9, 2011

Digital is for Everyone

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

During my tenure as a 2011 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow, I created a digital repository for materials relating to Mississippian archaeological sites. This project involves the collection, digitization, and organization of materials such as maps, photographs, field notes, publications, gray literature, bibliographies, websites, and raw data within a single digital repository. The repository functions to preserve materials in a digital format while improving scholarly accessibility and providing an integrated, searchable network of relationships between diverse types and sets of information. The repository was built using the KORA digital repository and publishing platform (http://kora.matrix.msu.edu/).

The repository currently contains images (artifact photographs, site photographs, excavation photographs, historic photographs, maps, etc) and web resources, but documents and data (as well as more images and web resources) will be added as they become available. Immediate plans for publicizing the existence of the repository and soliciting contributions from other Mississippian researchers include both formal and informal interactions Read More

Micalee Sullivan

By

September 9, 2011

The Trials and Errors of a Digital Humanities Project

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Last week marked an end to my Cultural Heritage and Informatics Initiative Fellowship. Although this also marks the technical end to my project, Sixteen Tons, I really view it as the start of what I hope will be a continually expanding project. In hindsight, many of the aims of the project, including a collaborative component and lessons plans, were a bit ambitious. I have to agree with Katy’s advice to new fellows – struggle with this project, because you will. In my head, I imagined a much longer time line of project design and creation, but unfortunately, I hit several technical snags along the way that really hindered my process. I suppose now I can recall Ethan telling us that this was just the start of our projects and we shouldn’t try to expect too much out of initial launch, but I also suppose we all Read More

Katy Meyers

By

September 9, 2011

Final Words of a CHI Fellow

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Over the past year I have been involved in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative Fellowship as one of the first fellows in the program. I started off the year with the goal of creating a community for bioarchaeologists around the world to share theories and methods known as the Bone Collective. I prepared a Wiki site for my creation, began building the back end of the site, and went off to the annual bioarchaeology meeting ready to share my idea with the discipline. The goal was to create a site that was completely community sourced, where bioarchaeologists freely gave their time for the greater good of the discipline.

Sadly, I quickly found when talking to my peers that while a resource like this would be great, they would not want to be the ones donating their time. Further, I found that students were discrediting the idea that a community sourced site could Read More

Ethan Watrall

By

August 19, 2011

Announcing New Book – Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communications & Collaboration

August 19, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

I’m very happy to announce the publication of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration. Co-edited by Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and myself, the volume explores how the web is transforming archaeology and is the first in the new Cotsen Digital Archaeology series published by UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

The volume’s description reads:

How is the Web transforming the professional practice of archaeology? And as archaeologists accustomed to dealing with “deep time,” how can we best understand the possibilities and limitations of the Web in meeting the specialized needs of professionals in this field? These are among the many questions posed and addressed in Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration, edited by Eric Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall. With contributions from a range of experts in archaeology and technology, this volume is organized around four key topics that illuminate how the revolution in Read More

Katy Meyers

By

August 11, 2011

3D Modeling to Recreate and Understand Heritage

August 11, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

Three dimensional recreations of historical buildings, streets and cities are not anything new or exciting. Often the reconstructions are blocky, pixelated, and tend to represent a cleaned up and idealistic version of the past. Was Byzantine in 1200 CE really full of gleaming bricks and clean swept streets framed by the perfect blue sky? Probably not. Are these reconstructions valuable for historical learning, is there any benefit to a digital reconstruction, and are these projects actually worthwhile?

Rome Reborn is a project being undertaken by the Virtual World Heritage Lab at University of Virginia with international collaboration. The project’s reported goal is “the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550)”. The project involves dozens of archaeologists from Italy, USA, UK, France Read More

Micalee Sullivan

By

August 5, 2011

Project Breakdown: Creating exhibits with Omeka

August 5, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’ve uploaded most of my content for Sixteen Tons and can start the process of organizing my content. I was fortunate enough to have photographed a large potion of my material. I have also transcribed most of the primary documents that I was not able to photograph, or that would have been too difficult to read in digital form (most of my documents are over a century old). Omeka makes the organization a bit easier by providing categories in which you can place your items into. For my own website, I chose to use broad themes that all of my research can fall under. Once I created these broad category titles, it was easy to choose a category from the dropdown menu as I uploaded individual items.

[caption id=”attachment_871″ align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Some of the collections I used to organize the many individual items I uploaded to my Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

By

July 29, 2011

Some Thoughts on Community

July 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

I am an anthropologist. More specifically, I am an archaeologist. And even more specifically than that, I am interested in communities. Sounds simple and boring, but the concept of community is so complex and integral to being human. What is a community? Who decides who is “in” and who is “out”? What does community membership mean to individuals and what role do subcommunities play in relationship to other subcommunites?
When I entered into the Digital Humanities world earlier this year, it did not occur to me that this particular sliver of my anthropological interests would end up being in the forefront of my mind. But in my interactions with other DH scholars at conferences over the last couple of months, the thing I was perhaps most surprised and impressed with was the sense of community that is involved in creating, recreating, and using open-source content management systems and other digital tools. It’s Read More

Katy Meyers

By

July 21, 2011

Revealing Londinium Under London: New AR App

July 21, 2011 | By | One Comment

Augmented Reality allows for users to interact with the world through their mobile phone in an informative and playful manner. Through the screen they see reality from a different perspective. One of the most effective of these mobile applications was the Museum of London’s Streetmuseum. This application uses your GPS to locate you in space and shows you what used to be there through old paintings and photographs. This “window through time” also contains a wealth of information about the location and allows you to create trails and trips using a map. The application has received great reviews, and is totally free to download for either Andriod or iOS. However, the application only begins at the 1660’s with the Great Fire, and it relies solely on paintings and photographs. While the application is fascinating, it has less appeal to those of us (myself included) who prefer a more archaeological and material Read More

Katy Meyers

By

June 16, 2011

Using Gowalla to Create a Historical Narrative

June 16, 2011 | By | One Comment

Gowalla is a mobile application that allows you to check-in to locations that you are currently located within. You can use it to interact with friends, collect stickers, or go on tours of specific areas. For the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative Fieldschool, our challenge last week was to create a Gowalla trip based on the concept of campus as museum. We worked with the Campus Archaeology Fieldschool students to create a concept, and the next day with implemented this.

The problem with a lot of digital or mobile based tours is that they simply mimic real tours. Most students have taken the general tour of campus, and information about the buildings is freely available in other applications like Foursquare. What we did was to introduce a playful element into the tour to make it more of a narrative. This type of tour is becoming increasingly popular, with museums using augmented reality to Read More

Katy Meyers

By

June 5, 2011

Adventures in CMS & Learning by Doing

June 5, 2011 | By | No Comments

Prior to this year I didn’t know what CMS meant, and FTP through Filezilla was simply a program that I knew about and thought was way over my head. Over the past semester I have installed Omeka, WordPress, and Mediawiki onto a development server, and uploading through Filezilla has become second nature. While the motto of CHI fellowship is learning by doing, I didn’t understand the power of this technique until recently.

A CMS is a content management system which is used to manage data within an environment online. The system aids in the creation, management, distribution and publication of data. They are the primary way that data is uploaded, integrated and used online. The CMS is installed on a server through an FTP client (File Transfer Protocol), such as Filezilla. Basically, its a method of creating dynamic websites that are based on specific models. Three CMSes that I have worked with Read More