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CHI Articles & Discussions

fandinod

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March 7, 2018

Pictures and Conversation

March 7, 2018 | By | No Comments

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversations?’

Pictures and conversations have been dominating my thoughts on digital projects over the past few weeks, thanks to my work in a digital humanities class. Just as Alice astutely noted, most in the work done in my particular field of history is heavily textual, analytic, and descriptive. While within the discipline of history a book full of text without pictures is the norm, on the other hand a wall of text on a web site is a daunting thing to present to a site visitor, if by daunting you mean a sure fire way to make people click away. Over the course of the last few blog posts I laid out the vision for my project and my ideas to make each part work within a whole. Now, I’ll be working through the implementation of these concepts although not without a little more philosophizing on the idea I am trying to project through my site. In my related digital humanities course I have begun to question the textual dominance of digital projects and have been asking myself how to bend images and nontextual sources towards creating a conversation between the material and a site visitor. History prides itself on writing–a lot of writing. If I’m going to be mining cliches, if a picture if worth a thousand words, a 360 image should worth at least be a novella. Now my dilemma is a practical one: how to incorporate these concepts and images into a digital project?

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fandinod

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February 2, 2018

Lost in Translation or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Github

February 2, 2018 | By | No Comments

Grandiose ideas are often the downfall of any undertaking. Take Napoleon and the decision to invade Russia, Tony Stark building Ultron, the Sega Dreamcast and the withdrawal of Sega from the console market. The most important point I am trying to keep in mind for the project is to keep the parts under the hood straightforward and trust the end product will be more than the sum of its parts. The second point was ensuring compliance and responsiveness on both computers and mobile devices, as I am running with the idea that most people idly browse the internet on their phones. If my site was to develop into something useful for students, scholars, and casual visitors during the 2020 Games, I had to ensure a clean and intuitive interface that wasn’t going to cause me grief a few years down the line.

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fandinod

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January 12, 2018

Tokyo: The Virtual City

January 12, 2018 | By | No Comments

In May of 2017 while in Tokyo I visited Meiji shrine in Shinjuku for the Spring Grand Festival, a series of traditional performances including dance, archery and theater. After returning home, I posted a few photos of the event to social media, as people of my generation tend to do. I soon received a comment from a friend. “Oh wow, I’m there right now!”

His comment took me by surprise. I had no idea my friend was in Japan, much less that they were at Meiji shrine that day. I quickly messaged him to see how long he would remain in the Shinjuku area and if he would like to get dinner that evening, or at the very least meet up later in the week.  “No, no!” my friend explained. “I’m at Meiji shrine in Persona 5. Your picture was so much like Meiji shrine in the game,” he went to on say, “that I knew exactly where you were.”

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David Bennett

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May 9, 2014

Visualizing Southern Television (v. 1.0) Launched!

May 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

In 1987, the University of Mississippi held a symposium entitled “Covering the South: A National Symposium on the Media and the Civil Rights Movement” wherein participants discussed the influence of media on the civil rights movement. During one panel, a group consisting of eleven Pulitzer Prize winners and three Emmy awardees make huge claims about television’s role in the movement. CBS reporter Robert Schakne claimed that “Little Rock was the first case where people really got their impression of an event from television. It was the event that nationalized a news story that would have remained a local story if it had just been a print story.”[1] NBC news correspondent John Chancellor touted that reporters “were able to show [southerners] themselves on television. They’d never seen themselves. They didn’t know their necks were red. They didn’t know they were overweight. The blacks didn’t know what they looked like… [These images provoked] a profound reaction in both the black and white communities, because they’d never seen that, because we never see ourselves.”[2] While these comments are clearly disturbing in their simplification of southern self-awareness, they also illustrate a problematic and commonly held view of television’s relationship with historical events. For these journalists, it seems, television made these historical events important. Read More

David Walton

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January 12, 2014

Announcing “The Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM)”

January 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

In this brief blog, I will provide a description of my project, discuss the importance of my project, and present the intended functionality of my project.  The hope is that the discussion of this project may inspire others to embark on similar projects as well as utilize the completed project for personal, professional and educational purposes. 

Description:

My 2013-2014 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) project is titled the “Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM).”  The VBRCHM is the first step of a larger project, the Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Center (VBRCHC).  As its name implies, the VBRCHM is an on-line interactive map that will operate as a virtual cultural heritage tour of important historical and contemporary sites that are important to the history, culture and heritage of Romulus, Michigan’s African American community.  The VBRCHM is being designed to serve as a research and educational tool and resource for k-12 and undergraduate students, as well as for the community at-large.  The map will identify and describe sites in Romulus, Michigan, that are important to the culture, history and heritage of the African-American community.  The points of interest sites in Romulus will be aggregated by time, type of events, biographies and various movement(s) significance.

Why is it important?:

Digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage is an important mission in the digital age.  Providing access to K-12 and undergraduate students and educators, as well as the community at large, is the largest challenge.  With the increase in technology and digitization, students are accessing information via the internet in increasing numbers.  Furthermore, educators are also utilizing information via the internet in equally increasing numbers.  Thus, digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage; especially in small localized communities such as Romulus, is extremely important to the educational development of K-12 and undergraduate students.  With that being said, it is important that more and more projects and initiatives dedicated to the digitizing and preserving of African American history and heritage emerge.

Functionality:

I am building the web-site using Twitter Bootstrap; in addition, I am using Leaflet for mapping. For the imaging of points of interest, I will personally take all photographs.  Further, for points of interest, the map will include markers that can be clicked on to display information, pictures and/or video, as well as URL links for each site.  I am designing the VBRCHM to be extremely user friendly and simple since K-12 students will be a significant population of users.

 

lopintoa

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December 19, 2013

Digitizing the Dead

December 19, 2013 | By | No Comments

Recently, a joint effort between the Royal College of Surgeons of London, the University of Bradford, and the Museum of London Archaeology announced the creation of a collection of digitized pathological skeletal specimens for study by osteoarchaeologists and bioarchaeologists.  Digitised Disease, which is currently in beta version, will provide high resolution 3D models generated by laser scanning, CT models, and radiography.  According to the project description, “Of major interest to many will be high-fidelity photo-realistic digital representations of 3D bones that can be viewed, downloaded and manipulated on their computer, tablet or smartphone”

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zaidshan

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December 18, 2013

Toilet Technology: The Appropriation of Bathrooms for Digital Activity

December 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

One of the distinguishing, if not alarming qualities of our current historical moment is that cultural change occurs so rapidly and dramatically that one generation can scarcely recognize the next.  Digital innovations of even the last twenty years have so forcefully changed everyday behaviors and communicatory norms that a grandparent simply asking a grandchild “what are you up to?” will likely end in confusion or belabored explanation.  Home routines are similarly succumbing to the speed of change as digital devices become more common and portable.  Years ago, I heard a man proudly proclaim that his new iPhone was the first thing he touched every morning and the last thing he touched every night.  Yet, perhaps one of the oddest and what elders might find least recognizable changes to customs of the home is how digital technology has intruded into one of the home’s most sacred sanctuary spaces…the bathroom.

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havila14

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December 13, 2013

Indigenous Language and Twitter

December 13, 2013 | By | No Comments

As and older student I remember being an undergraduate during a time when email was new and rarely used on campus. Most of my communication with my professors was in person or sometimes by telephone; the kind that were attached to walls! Grades were posted outside of their doors next to your social security numbers to protect your identity. Also my university mailed grades home so If you performed like me as an undergrad then opening your grades after the semesters ended was meet with half dread and half hope. I greatly appreciate the advances that have taken place sense those days and I am happy to report that I am a much better student. However while I have had a Facebook account for some time I have not delved into other things like Instagram and Twitter.  So after a few failed attempts at using twitter I finally forced myself to get an account. I am particularly interested in how Native languages are used and presented in social media.

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David Walton

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December 12, 2013

Laypeople’s Role in Cultural and Heritage Preservation

December 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Laypeople and community organizations can aid scholars and professionals dedicated to digitizing African American culture and heritage in four important ways.  First, scanning photographs, obituaries, organizational documents, class photos, workplace photos, and other documents (such as report cards and newspaper clippings) into digital format will help preserve primary sources that will prove valuable for students, educators and researchers.  Secondly, due to the rapid increase in technology, such as digital cameras, camera phones, iPads, and etc.; anyone can quickly and easily take digital photographs.  Photographs of important historical sites of your community and/or organization are valuable assets in the cause of digitizing African American culture and heritage. Further, photographs of sites, events and people that the community presently deems important are also valuable assets in the process of cultural and heritage preservation, as well as family gatherings such as weddings, funerals, family reunions, graduations and etc.

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David Walton

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October 28, 2013

Digitizing and Preserving African American History and Heritage

October 28, 2013 | By | No Comments

Digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage is an important mission in the digital age.  Providing access to K-12 and undergraduate students and educators, as well as the community at large, is the largest challenge.  Furthermore, strategies for preserving African American heritage and history as it happens is the newest challenge faced by those interested in the field.  Thus, at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) 98th Annual National Convention held October 2-6, 2013, in Jacksonville, Florida, two sessions were dedicated to this very issue.

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