Visual Media Workshop

The VMW is
a lab/
workspace/
creative zone/
vertext/
forum/
platform/
initiative/
experiment

that

sits at the intersection between/
falls between established disciplines of/
crosses the fields of

art history and information studies/
humanistic inquiry and technology/
established humanistic and new data-driven approaches

(Alex Oliver, April 2014)

VMW

  •  

    The CRAAP Test

    The CRAAP Test tortured me throughout high school.  I used it in basically everyone of my classes.  But honestly, it taught me a lot.  I can determine if a website is credible in like five seconds flat.  I was so suprised to see that Itinera did not pass. Working behind the scenes on Itinera, I know it is credible.  I've seen the process in action.  However, there was no information about Itinera anywhere on the site.  There was no copyright information, no authors, no creators, no editors, no sponsors.  Even though I knew the website was credible, there was nothing on the website confirming that.  This totally may be my science background kicking in, but the fields of research are still primarily thought to be science-oriented.  The OUR supported this assumption with the templates they provided for our presentations.  The templates simply do not fit what we have been working on, and it stinks that they want us to fit that into incorrectly labeled bins.  Its like incorrectly sorting metadata.  It just doesn't work.

    The link for the CRAAP Test: http://libguides.library.ncat.edu/content.php?pid=53820&sid=394505

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    Lab Rats in Lab coats

    We tested user data today on the front end of the itinera database website. We got to understand and test out itinera's usability and try to figure out what features help users go through a website smoothly. We also got to go behind the scenes, and put in the data. So we get a look at two different levels of website usage. It was taking what we learned last week to a whole other level. It brings together all that we've learned so far and brings us a step closer to the understanding of what Itinera is, and how Itinera works, so that we can perform the tasks necessary to ammeliorating the Itinera database.

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    Digital Humanities does not mean "scanning stuff"

    What makes this call for applications especially cool is the application process: not a long, complicated series of forms, with character limits, and uploads for your CV, even though you've already put in that information separately in another form, and complicated system messages that will confuse your professors, as they try to upload their references. Just a Google form. (Plus, a stylish hero featuring a slide projector. Very hip.)

    July 28–August 6, 2014
    University of California, Los Angeles

    “Beyond the Digitized Slide Library” is an eight-day summer institute to be held at the University of California, Los Angeles, July 28–August 6, 2014. Major support for the program has been provided by the Getty Foundation. Participants will learn about debates and key concepts in the digital humanities and gain hands-on experience with tools and techniques for art historical research (including metadata basics, data visualization, network graphs, and digital mapping).

    http://www.humanities.ucla.edu/getty/

    Categories: 
    • VMW
  •  

    The Lessons of Nicholas Revett

    When I set off researching Nicholas Revett, I started with the biological information, which turned out to be fairly easy.  Despite the fact that the site I was using did not have a death location, everything else was easily attainable and accessible.  However, once I started working on the tour stops, it began to be much clearer to me how complex this data is.  In regards to Revett, there is a lot of uncertainty, which I didn't think twice about at first.  In fact, I kind of expected it.  Older records aren't that great so it did not come to a surprise for me that Revett's birth date was not certain.  However, I was surprised that he had two different birth years 1720 or 1721, and between the two sources I was looking at, it appeared to me that each source thought their respective date was the only date.  This obstacle, though it seemed big at the time, was very small in the big picture of mapping Revett's travels.

    Revett's travels left a lot of uncertainty.  We know when he left England, but we have no idea when he arrived in Livorno.  We know he was in Rome by 1745, but we do not know when he actually arrived.  We know he travelled to Pola for three months somewhere in between June of 1750 and January of 1751, but we do not know which three months.  This took a lot of time to write down and to analzye.

    As a science major, a lot of my friends are involved in scientific research.  When they are doing research or for example, when I am in lab, if a run of an experiment results in uncertain results, another run is performed to determine what happened.  However, the Grand Tour is history, and we cannot just run another trial.  There is no way to redo or rerecord history some 300 years later. We cannot change what was recorded, and we can only work with what the sources have to offer.  This uncertainty that humanities researchers have no way around makes humanities research insanely interesting and complex. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    Today I was Sherlock

         I thought that the activity we did today was the most fun so far of what we've done here at the Lab. Taking information and figuring how the information fits together like a puzzle piece is so very fascinating. You can't just take the information given to you and write it out. You have to think about it, and understand it first, because historical data is not always one hundred percent sure. People are not infallible and so their reports will not be perfect. Some of the data from separate data bases could be conflicted based on a different interpretation of primary sources. If they are you have to be able to decipher the information and figure out the most accurate data. Unless you have a primary source specifying the exact date, you are most likely going to have to make conjectures about its validity. So today, I got to be Sherlock. I got to make those conjectures about data, and figure out not just the broader picture of the puzzle, but how to put them together in a way that made sense to me, the computer, and other people who will look at the data. 

         It was actually sooooo much fun! I reallly enjoyed it. The time flew, and I am hoping to be able to do this more often. It was very interesting and challenging. It was kind of like playing history sudoku.

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    Metadata

    Last Friday we learned about Metadata. If you googled metadata you would find that metadata is data about data. But that's the very simplified, almost incorrect definition. Metadata is the data on how we choose to categorize the data that we collect. That includes where the data comes from, how the data was collected, who the data was collected from, what kind of data it is (primary source or secondary source etc) and how we classify them based on all these factors. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
    Tags: 
  •  

    Metadata

    On Friday we learned about metadata, a topic I had never heard of previously, but was nonetheless interesting.  I never really thought about what happened when I searched something on Google, or why websites were always asking me to complete random surveys, but now I understand that they fall under the category of collecting data.  Metadata, I learned, is not only a large part of research and academia, but it is also very relevant to everyday life.

    Creating or recording metadata, I am not sure what the correct term is, seemed simple at first.  My categories of analysis for paintings and buildings were in the ball park.  For example, for the Cathedral, I had the category of builder, which is part of a larger offical section called agent.  Regardless, I was still able to pinpoint what topics metadata attempts to capture.  

    However, when it came to trying to define metadata for a person, I struggled.  I think my major issue was that I was trying to come up with categories that a picture would be tagged under if someone was searching for a name attached to a picture.  Essentially, I was doing it as if the searcher had a picture of a person and was searching for their name.  Assigning metadata to an actual physical person, not just a picture of a person, did not even come across my mind.  My topics like gender, appearance, hair color, and eye color, are completely different than what is offically used to assign metadata to a person.  I had never thought of categorizing a person in that way, but I guess it makes sense.  

    Overall, learning about metadata taught me a lot about how things are organized, and the structure behind that.  It also showed me that metadata is a wide cateogory that can be applied to unexpected things, like people. 

     

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW

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