Musser

For this assignment I decided to try and recreate my current dorm, the elegant and beautiful Musser building. I also, like David, ran into trouble finding good photos of the dorm on the Carleton databases and had to resort to google. Luckily there was a decent picture that provided a good angle for the type of mapping that we were trying to do. I found it was hard if not impossible to get the photo to perfectly line up with the rectangular form I was using to mimic Musser but after getting it as close as I thought possible, it was very helpful in assisting the rest of the details of the building. Here is my recreation:

I also agree with David that for type of mapping to be successful, you must take very deliberate photos of your subject. I think this is honestly more helpful in giving the user a good scale to work with in the 3D modeling process to later get painted over with better textures.

Final Project Proposal

Our group, consisting of Chris J, Chris L and Lawrence Lin, is going to develop an interactive timeline map of Carleton Student Statistics, with a primary focus on where the students are coming from throughout our history with other corresponding statistics such as gender, major, religious affiliation and athletic information.

We hope to find the data we’re looking for in the Carleton Archives, Carleton Admissions, and with help of the the Office of the Deans. We are assuming they will at least have the hometown and major of each admitted student as well as the other information that we are seeking out. We obviously are going to be dealing with massive amounts of data and we hope to use a relational database to store and manipulate our data. We’re hoping that Carleton has digitized their archives but if not we will be looking at a lot of documents and will need to use a scanner to convert them into a PDF and a PDF reader to get the data we need from them. Once we have a relational database set up we’re thinking we want to use the ArcGIS platform to create our interactive timeline map that will offer the user information about each Carleton student and the geographical history of admitted students.

Were going to try and break down our project into three weeks. By the end of week 6 we want to have access to and have digitized all the data that we need to run this project. That includes having scanned any documents that we plan on using. By the end of week 7 we wan to have out relational database set up and able to store our massive amount of data. By the end of week 8 we want to have a rough cut of the final project with the rest of week 9 to clean up the site and figure out our bibliography.

http://legacy.calacademy.org/human-odyssey/map/

Coffee Place Geography

 

 

Databases

While I knew of databases, I had little to no knowledge of what a database really is and what it is they do. I found these articles to be both a little confusing but also informative at the same time.  The idea of relational databases that I got was they are more complex systems that allow for easier and more efficient data manipulation due to reducing the “inefficiencies that often result from redundancies in the underlying data representation.” This, to my best understanding, is done by altering the original design of a data set and isolating the individual entities. I think this is what we were doing in class the other day with the chart of authors and their works, breaking one large chart down into smaller more characterized charts to reduce the amount of reoccurring information or data. These relational databases are used when there is an abundance of data that needs to be stored in the most efficient way possible. Using a relational database with only small amount of data would be excessive and could be done much easier and simpler by using a flat database. Flat databases are extremely easy to use and I’m sure anyone who has tried to use an excel document would agree. But with these flat databases it becomes increasingly difficult and inefficient to use with larger amounts of data. In the DH realm, these relational databases will be much more prominent and useful.

Measuring the ANZACs

I thought this was a very slick and comprehensive website. Not only was it very easy to follow the directions for marking and transcribing these historical documents, I thought it was also very ascetically pleasing, and almost enjoyable to go through marking up the documents. This and the fact that the documents in front of me were directly connected to a time in history, drew me in and kept me engaged with the site, which seems to be the whole idea of the project. Since it was so easy and engaging, I found myself wanting to transcribe more and more documents while the owners of this site just sat back and watched as I did their work for them. Overall I thought this was a genius idea and a very well done DH project.

Hacking

I agree with Kirchenbaum that anyone who is concerned with the humanities should learn to code, simply because it is such a useful tool in getting data out to the world in an interesting and effective way. Especially in a world that is becoming more and more digitized, where it is harder then ever to retain the attention of an individual, being able to make an intractable and intriguing site or program that presents your data and information is essential. I think Kirchenbaum would share this opinion and I was really struck by his comments on virtual worlds and how they “will be to the new century what cinema was to the last one and the novel to the century before that. ” I also really liked what Donahue said about “the computer sciences and the humanities both being engaged in the process of developing the very same models.” I really liked his connection between his experiences with NLP and how they connect to the very same concepts that the humanities too to study. From the limited coding experience I have in this class and my intro to Computer Science class that I’m taking I’d say coding is a valuable skill to have both in a technological sense and in an every day life sense. I think while it would be very useful to anyone to be able to interact and communicate with computers, an exponentially expanding part of our culture and daily life, it is also very useful to develop the problem solving skills that come with taking the time to learn to code and debug code. Plus it is very exciting when you can get computers to say or do what you want.

Here is my profile:

https://www.codecademy.com/ChrisLasch

Reverse engineering The Timelines of Slang

I decided to tackle the amusing DH project The Timelines of Slang. This site allows the user to track the slang of about 30 or so words dating back over 500 years. The source for this website seems to just be the research of Jonathan Green, aka “Mr. Slang,” who has found these terms in print, lyrics, scripts, online or elsewhere. In an authors note on the site, Green states,

“There are certainly more that I have yet to discover. I must also add that the dates are not set in stone. Slang research is always changing what we know and there is only one rule: words are always older than you think. When I find proof, I shall make the necessary changes.”

This gives the site a sort of lackluster credibility, with the information coming from a single man who is simply coming across terms and their dates of use and uploading them to this site. The site itself works on the Timeglider.com software system, which essentially is just a software system that allows the user to create ‘events’ across a timeline. This site works by selecting the word you wish to discover slang for, for instance slang for ‘fool,’ and presenting a timeline for all the different slang terms for that word over the years.

The presentation of the site was effective with minor inconveniences. Each slang term is represented by a symbol, often stars of varying colors, that corresponds with either the exact word or similar words and ideas that would be connected to that word. For instance, when looking up the slang for ‘fool,’ you are also subjected to slang for the words ‘foolish’ and ‘foolishness.’ These stars are also placed along the timeline so the user can see when in history they were used. One of the flaws of the site was when you clicked on a term, if would open a small window that could be used for a short explanation of the term or how long the term was used, but instead the box simply has a single date (which can already be inferred from the position on the timeline) and the word itself. For instance clicking on ‘mutt,’ a term for fool used in January, 1900, a box opens that reads, ‘mutt,’ which of course is helpful to nobody.  The timeline was, however, very easy to navigate. There was a box in which you could enter a date and be taken to the timeline of that date for whatever slang you were researching. There was also a zoom function that allowed the user to zoom in and out of the timeline, seeing 10 years worth of slang or a single day’s worth. Overall the website was amusing and easy, but not especially credible or useful, as there was not a huge amount of info being presented, other than the actual slang word and a single date for when it was used.

House

I really struggled with this assignment and wasn’t even able to build a roof. I also had to completely scrap one house that I spent a long time working on because of some edges of the house not lining up, making it virtually impossible to build a second story. I quickly learned the vast amount of attention to detail it takes to build even a simple house on this program. Still, I did enjoy building and using the program and am excited about becoming more comfortable and fluent in SketchUp.