I am being completely honest when I admit that I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of writing my digital humanities essay. However, after reading the required resource from our class textbook (Drucker Chapter 1, Part B) this week, I felt a little more confident when the steps were outlined very clearly about how to approach a digital humanities project. There were also many different options for analyzing and presenting data in Miriam Posner’s online reference article “How Did They Make That?” Based upon all the references and resources, I think I would be most likely interested in creating a map or analyzing text for my essay. I enjoy working with maps and finding patterns in texts (searching for common words and phrases) seems straightforward.
I am a double major in Geography and Religious Studies, so subjects relating to these fields would be within my comfort zone. For example, I might be interested in mapping visitation patterns in the most popular national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, or Yosemite). Should I choose to analyze text for my essay, I would likely focus on the Bible as a reference. For example, maybe research texts related to biblical covenants or the influence of women in the Bible. I have worked with both of these subjects before and think it would be great to research these topics from a digital humanities perspective.
I am familiar with data relating to the national park system and would be able access websites for park visitation easily. I would be interested in seeing if there are any other resources for national park visitation outside of the government databases. I have used a few different Bible reference sites, but I now know, after collecting information in this course, that there is data in many different forms that I have not even thought about that would be helpful for this essay should I choose to go in the text analysis direction. I will be thinking about choosing a specific direction and clearly defining my topic.
The three exercises that I chose to complete for the Data Diaries project are Exercise 2 (Birthdays), Exercise 15 (My Swearing), and Exercise 18 (Distractions). I have collected my data for all three exercises. After a brief review of each exercise, I found the Birthdays Exercise to be the easiest for collecting the data. I was surprised at how many birthdays I remembered and gathering information for those I forgot was simple. I was most surprised by the My Swearing exercise. I swear at lot more than I would have thought while watching college football (or any sporting events). I’m generally not one to swear on a regular basis. The Distractions exercise was challenging because I was distracted by having to record my distractions while completing a task. It will be interesting to see what distracts me the most after I analyze the data from that exercise.
I chose to review the “The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project” (AEMP) digital humanities project. This project’s purpose is to identify and map areas where gentrification has happened and map areas where evictions rates are high. This project also provides a clearinghouse of information and resources for those who are threatened with eviction. The project uses a variety of presentation tools such as maps, software, media, visualizations, reports, murals, magazines, books, and oral histories. The information is gathered and shared through collaboration and processed by the roughly 30 volunteers that work with the AEMP. All of these materials are analyzed and provided to the public to advocate for housing rights.
I found the project description to be detailed and the rationale for the project necessary given the housing crisis in many large cities. This project originated in the San Francisco Bay Area but has since expanded to other cities across California as well as in New York City and Brazil. While the data model may currently be limited to a few select locations, I think the method of collection of data can be applied anywhere. I also like the use of various presentation tools consisting of digital and non-digital materials, which makes it easy for a wide range of users. This project is also a great example of how social experiences/issues can provide the basis for a digital humanities project. The collaborative nature of the project also means that the tools and media used in this project can be applied globally.
I enjoyed many of the exercises in the “Learning to See” chapter of Observe, Collect, Draw! including the emotion through shape exercise and the rhythms of the body. These allowed me to be creative and present data in ways that I would not normally think about. I was surprised to find that the exercise that I struggled with the most was the drawing as measuring exercise. I like structure and routine; however, I found this exercise a little tedious and time consuming. I found that drawing a spiral for three minutes and small circles for five minutes difficult (not to mention that my hand cramped).
If I was to create a schema for the vacation log, I would create a bar graph that represents the number of stops at a specific location. For example, I would utilize symbols for each location including rest stops, gas stops, food stops, restroom/potty stops, etc. I would then log the number of stops in each category by using lines/ticks. To complete the bar graph, the symbols would represent the horizontal values of the graph and the number of stops in each category would represent the vertical values completing a bar of different heights for each category.
The three exercises that I will be completing for the Data Diaries project will be Exercise 2 (Birthdays), 15 (My Swearing), and 18 (Distractions).
Hey everyone. My name is Noah and I’m a senior with a double major in Geography and REL Studies. I’m interested in this course because I would like to become more computer proficient and learn more about digital media. This is how I sometimes feel when I deal with computers…