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CHI Project Info

Charlotte Marie Cable

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September 6, 2012

The Oman Archive: eyes forward, a look in the rearview mirror

September 6, 2012 | By | No Comments

For a country of people noted for their unhurried grace, the Sultanate of Oman is changing at a head-spinning rate. The Oman Archive (OA) was originally conceived of as a digital attempt to archive Oman’s archaeological heritage in and around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bat. The OA had several functions:

  • To integrate and curate archaeological data related to the region;
  • To provide access to original data for international researchers and collaborators interested in understanding Bat’s prehistory and history;
  • To serve as a repository for all reports, publications, and media related to the archaeological heritage of the Bat area;
  • To facilitate the documentation of changes to the archaeological record;
  • To provide specialists’ assessments for national government ministry decision-making about land use and development in the Bat area.

Put simply, I am a collaborative anthropological archaeologist interested in pursuing an extensive career in the Sultanate of Oman, and saw this Fellowship as an opportunity to use the Read More

fayana.richards

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September 1, 2012

The End is Only the Beginning for QUALANTH: A Digital Repository for Qualitative Researchers

September 1, 2012 | By | No Comments

When conceptualizing QUALANTH, I wanted to build a digital repository for researchers, like myself, who work with human research participants. Over the past year, I have tackled issues around privacy, protection of human subjects, IRB and consent form and tried to embody these issues when designing QUALANTH but this work is far from over. An overview about QUALANTH is available here.

Over the past 2011-2012, I was able to complete Phase One of QUALANTH, which basically entailed constructing the backend of the repository. There are a few issues that need to be addressed before QUALANTH can be launched publicly. Phase Two will consist of me actively seeking evaluation and critiques of QUALANTH, as a physical product and conceptually, from outside peers. I plan to continue to write blog posts about QUALANTH as well as seek out opportunities to present about the digital platform at anthropology conferences. After gathering feedback about QUALANTH, Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski

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August 31, 2012

Reveal and review: Talus through development

August 31, 2012 | By | No Comments

Well, kids, it’s finally here. Please, allow me to present the mobile web app version of:

TALUS!

Check it out on your smartphone or shrink down a browser window to see it in reasonable dimensions.

I set out with a pretty clear vision of the product I wanted to create. Starting from total zero, besides an inclination towards technology, I learned the basics of html, JQuery, and am more oriented in terms of product creation – both for websites and apps. Although the presentation was up in the air at the beginning, I’m fairly pleased that the “meat” of this project was right on from the start.

I gathered the material that I wanted to create a home for, then learned how to structure its home by reading Information architecture for the World Wide Web, colloquially known as the Polar Bear Book. This early-web structural guide explained rules and logic for the layout of a Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski

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July 11, 2012

Building a mobile app as a novice: tools review

July 11, 2012 | By | No Comments

Going into building TALUS, I had minimal understanding of programming. Maybe in the 90s, I learned that if you surround text with <b> and </b>, that text will be bolded. And something about the existence of a hexadecimal number code system (weird). But that was pretty much it.

However, as a consumer, I feel more knowledgeable. I can tell the difference between a smoothly functioning app and a crappy one. I’ve noted broad trends in the evolution of internet and mobile aesthetic. Of course, most self-aware consumers can say the same things. And none of that vague understanding meant that I could make anything at all. One of the most basic obstacles I faced was not knowing how different programming and mark-up languages interacted with each other.

If you’re starting from the ground up, like I was, you may not know about the W3schools tutorials. They are an easy way to learn the Read More

Rachael Hodder

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February 2, 2012

Introducing Corridor

February 2, 2012 | By | No Comments

Twitter has been an invaluable tool for me as a new grad student and growing scholar. Communicating and building connections over Twitter has helped form relationships with my colleagues and professors in my program and across the university. Using Twitter has also afforded me access to the growing domain of digital humanities through the tweets of scholarly publications, organizations, thought leaders, and my own colleagues – in fact, it was through a tweet that I learned of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative at MSU.

Though I have been a Twitter user for years, I first experienced its utility in a scholarly context while attending my first major academic conference. I had never been to a major academic conference before and I thought that the conference backchannel might be a good way to get acclimated to the new practices and setting. I was right: using the Twitter hashtag for the conference, I scouted Read More

alex.galarza

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January 25, 2012

Project Introduction: Alex Galarza

January 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

In my introductory post as a CHI fellow I briefly described my interests in the football clubs of 1950s and 60s Buenos Aires as ways to study politics, civic association, and mass consumption. After a few months of discussion and planning, I have decided to split my project into two components:

Footballscholars.org
The first segment of my project will entail growing footballscholars.org into an interdisciplinary web platform for football scholarship. I co-founded the site with Peter Alegi four semesters ago to bring together authors of football scholarship with fellow researchers and academics. Since then we have enjoyed great success in these meetings and have also developed a number of resources on the website. The project now includes a Zotero group library, film database, audio archive, academic directory, and syllabus repository. As the community grows, it is important that the web platform develop alongside our expanded interests. Over the next semester, I will be Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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October 14, 2011

Adventures in Archaeology: Charlotte Marie Cable enters the digital world

October 14, 2011 | By | No Comments

Community archaeology, Mid-East anthropology, Alaska, Adventure, Cycling, and Logophilia

Archaeology is the search for culture through material: intangible ideas about the world are made tangible through the ways we arrange and rearrange our physical worlds to reflect those ideas. These physical remains are what we archaeologists study: and usually, we study these remains by their destruction. We learn by taking things apart – and in such a way that we can’t put them back together again (imagine rebuilding a ziggurat!). This poses a major problem: as our knowledge grows, what we have, physically, to show for it decreases. The challenge in archaeology is trying to make what we’ve learned as easy to see, to touch, and to understand as the earth from which it comes.

I was born and raised in Alaska, where it takes 12 hours to drive to the center of the state. Visiting the “Lower 48” usually involved a Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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September 9, 2011

Digital Humanities, Drupal, and the End of Phase I

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

In many ways, I think of my time in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative as an introduction to the digital humanities. Through the CHI fellowship I read a handful of texts about the digital humanities, explored digital archives, participated in Great Lakes THATCamp and THATCamp CHNM, and, of course, worked hands-on using technologies, and developing a digital project. I began learning the language of digital humanists and gained a sense of what people meant when they were talking about metadata, the semantic web, and linked data. I became acquainted with Digital Humanities Questions & Answers, and participated in a couple of conversations on the forum. (By the way, I definitely encourage incoming fellows to use this resource! It’s great not just for getting help on your own projects, but also for gaining a sense of what kinds of things people concerned with DH are thinking about and working on.) I also Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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April 15, 2011

Project Update: Digital Repository for Mississippian Archaeological Site Materials

April 15, 2011 | By | No Comments

I have been working to create a basic organizational framework for my repository (http://chi.anthropology.msu.edu/2011/02/28/a-digital-repository-for-mississippian-archaeologists/), and the process is actually coming along much better than I expected it would. A couple of weeks ago, I met with Dr. Goldstein to discuss my plans and to briefly browse through the materials she has available for the Aztalan site. To maximize inter-site comparability, we decided that it would be best to decide on a basic set of material types that I would expect to encounter as the project progresses. My initial decisions are, of course, based largely on what I have available for Aztalan, but these types of materials will likely be available for other sites as they are added to the repository. The preliminary categories are basic site information, maps, images, full text documents, bibliographies, and raw data. Of course, I plan to design the repository in a way that unique or Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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February 28, 2011

A Digital Repository for Mississippian Archaeologists

February 28, 2011 | By | 8 Comments

For my CHI fellowship project, I will create a digital repository for materials relating to major Mississippian archaeological sites. The Mississippians were the most socially-complex peoples to ever inhabit prehistoric North America, and their sites generally date to between AD 1050 and AD 1500 (several groups in the Southeast United States continued to practice a Mississippian lifestyle at the time of European contact). Their lifeway was characterized by a ranked social structure with ascribed status differentiation, hierarchical inter-site political organization, ubiquitous cleared-field maize agriculture, and a set of common religious institutions and iconography. They dramatically modified their physical environments by clearing plazas and building earthen mounds of variable size and for various purposes, many of which are still evident on the landscape today. Mississippian groups inhabited an area spanning from northern Florida to Illinois and from the Atlantic plain to Eastern Oklahoma (though evidence of their influence is even more widespread). Read More