Itinera

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    Memo

    In today's meeting we discussed what work flow would be the most productive and efficient. For next week we will be attmpting to impliment the work flow that we discussed:taking the first pass at the french correspondences and entering them straight into itinera. We will see how much we get done and create a possible amount of work we could possibly finish by the end of the semester. The second thing we discussed were the details of the input methods and what is inputted into itinera. There was a big confusion with how to categorize "tours" (which we might possibly change to "life"), agent life roles, agent to agent relationships, source entry and related tour stops. Having discussed this with seven other people, we are getting closer to understanding the most efficient way to input and to portray the data. 

     

    Drew and I had a conversation to help me understand how to efficiently go through the first pass mentioned in the previous article. Many of the names that are VERY important are italicizded in the letters. He will also bring in his index of all the volumes so that we can cross reference the names we feel might be important and the amount of times they were mentioned in the whole series of books. With these two tools it will be possible to gert more work done in a timely fashion while inputting only the most relevant data into itinera. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Correspondance Problems

    My eyes were opened up today.  I never really understood what it was like compliling enough information to fill a text book, especially if someone was organizing this data for the first time.  Working with the source with which Drew provided us was very overwhelming, but not in a bad sense.  There is so much information.  The source contains letters from the director of the Academy of France in Rome, and as you can imagine, there were a lot of letters.  For Itinera, we are hopefully trying to track these records to make a heirarchial types of social relationships.  However, for this one person, I only have his or her last name and the date on which they were mentioned.  The end goal is to figure out more, or provide a means for someone else to, or at least that is my understanding.  Going about doing this, however, is a pretty big issue.  Itinera was not built for this type of data, and inputting and organizing all of this data appears to be a lot of work.  Personally, I have no idea who any of these people are, but I can read French, and it is still hard to pick out names, places, life roles, and relationships among other topics because I have no idea how to orient myself in this data. Hopefully, as I continue to work with it, it becomes much easier.  To me, it seems similar to how people practice problems before the exam so the problems on the exams are easier.  However, this is the exam and there is no practice.  The saving quality is that if something goes awry, it is completely fixable.  On another note, I thought this data was really cool because I felt like I was sitting in on a conversation, even if I didn't know who all the players were.

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Looking for hay in a hay stack.

    Today was about understanding the scope of data in humanities research. With science research, unless you are on the front edge of new and uncharted scientific ingenuity, there are specific data sets that have been made so small that you can see the entire scope easily. Humanities research is instead, a scope that includes human origins and every single act of humans since then. Because no human is an island, our interactions effect the entire world; life in general is one huge butterfly effect. All the data we extract from sources must be equally researched in order to fidn the level or hierarchy of their importance to itinera. This presents the problem that we could go on indefinitely searching, even within the scope of 17th and 18th century Europe. The solution: there's nothing much we can do about that. We still have to take into account all the information and sort it out. We essentially are looking for hay in a hay stack. It's all there, and we must organize them in a way that brings out their optimal relevance. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Paper museums : the reproductive print in Europe, 1500-1800

    TitlePaper museums : the reproductive print in Europe, 1500-1800
    Publication TypeBook
    Year of Publication2005
    AuthorsZorach, Rebecca, Elizabeth Rodini, David and Alfred Art, and Grey Art Galler Center
    PublisherDavid and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
    CityChicago, Ill.
    ISBN Number0935573402 9780935573404
    Keywordscollections, Exhibitions, Prints, UAG, Visual Knowledge
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    Francis Dashwood

    Today I learned a rake was an 18th century playboy, while researching Francis Dashwood the 11th Baron le Despence. Look at that picture: He seems to have so much fun, unlike all the other 18th century men, who look all too serious. I also am continuing to ameliorate my data formatting and inputting skills. I am getting better and quicker at it, because I am a lot more used to it. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Painting the Grand Tour

    This painting, attributed to William Theed, represents a Grand Tour that I would readily embark on, replete with breathtaking panoramas and adorable spaniels. Is it overly idyllic? Perhaps! However, it offers a brief snapshot of the type of exploration documented in Itinera and this makes it all the more exquisite. 

    According to the account: 

    Rome Seen on a Grand Tour, attributed to John Frearson (c. 1792-1831), who set out for Italy with the painter William Theed in 1790 but travelled from Florence to Rome alone later that year when Theed was recalled to England. Frearson stayed mostly in Rome, but also visited Naples and Venice before returning to England in 1766. This picture captures the fascination with the light of the South seen in many paintings, as well as the closeness between city and countryside.

    -Italy and the Grand Tour, Jeremy Black, Yale University Press: 2003 page 48

     

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Mobility/Exchange
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    A Day Full of Dates

    When I think about dates being vague, I do not think of days, weeks, months, or years.  My mind automatically goes to everything associated with those awkward fist dates, whether it be trying to pick out an appropriate outfit, figuring out exactly where you are going or what you are doing, and deciphering the other person's intentions.  Maybe my mind automatically goes there because it is Valentine's Day, I am wearing a sweater that says "love," and Google doodle  is of candy hearts that all tell their own love story.  Maybe it is just a coincidence that this day, Valentine's Day, is all about the perfect date.  

    Today, in the lab, we were again trying to figure out the perfect dates for Nicholas Revett's journey.  We only have some exact dates for Revett, such as his baptismal date, the date he left England, and his date of death.  Some dates for Revett were very vague, like he was in Pola for a three month period after May 1750, but returned to Venice before January 1751.  Sources leave their audience the job of interpreting this information, as both the sources we used said he was there for three months.  This is helpful, but does not tell the enitre story for Itinera.  Itinera uses chronology, and therefore dates, as a means of organization so today we worked out what the three months meant, how to input the information, and how the user will see the information.  We did not spend all morning deducing Revett's three months in Pola.  His tour consists of ten stops, many of which we can only attribute probable dates, and so we worked on assigning dates to his entire journey.  You can easily see how today was all about dates.

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Back to the Lab Again

    Play the song as you read. :)

    I GOT A SECRET FORMULA: for all the ways to write the dates for the two different types of date entries (display date and indexing date).

     Like with Dexter, entering the lab is always as interesting as a new t.v. episode of our own t.v. sitcom.  And it happens to be released every week. :D This week on "Back to the Lab Again" was a continuation of playing Shirlock two weeks ago and entering data into Itinera last week. We got more in depth with Alex, Marybeth, Alison and Wawa as they attempted to perfect the format of their data entry for Nicholas Revett into Itinera. Dan co-starred for some comic relief to this stressful, high-intensity, brain workout episode. 

    (As you can tell I watch too much Arrested Development, and feel like shows should be narrated as awkwardly as Arrested Development is.... every episode.)

    NEXT WEEK ON "BACK TO THE LAB AGAIN": more biographical data entry. :)

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    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
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    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

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