THATCamp CBR – Digital mapping session

1 09 2010

BootCamp: Putting the Digital Humanities in its place … what, why and how to map
Presented by Ian Johnson.

This session was an excellent practical introduction into digital mapping. Ian provided some very good information about the basics of GIS (Geographic Information System) and the types of tools and databases used to generate visualisations that intersected data with mapping.

To begin with, the group was taken through an overview of GIS, which I found particularly helpful as I have not had any formal training in this area and have a great interest in learning skills in mapping and GIS.

The presentation then focused on a number of projects that have used GIS technologies, for example: Macquarie map of Indigenous Australia 2007; South Seas Project; Digital Harlem 1915 – 1930 and Dictionary of Sydney.

Ian then provided a list of tools that are used for developing these projects – most significantly Time Maps and Heurist.

I am looking forward to learning much more about digital mapping and building technical skills with some of the tools mentioned in the blog post.

Some dot points about  – digital mapping tools and technologies:

  • AusStage mapping service
  • what is spatial data? Vector – points lines, polygons – objects recorded with coordinates. Raster – aerial photos, satellite images, airborn scanner images, historical maps and plans.
  • Formats – CSV
  • shapefile – (old formats .shp .dbf .shx =ESRI)
  • KML (.kml, .kmx = Google Earth)
  • Databases – Access, MySql, ostgres, Oracle
  • TIF, GeoTiff = Remore sensed data
  • JPEG2000, MrSID, Zoomify = Tled images doesn’t need a image server
  • Projections, Datums, Coordinates – datum: point of reference and model of the earth; projecton: method of flattening earth on map; no such thing as a ‘correct’ projection, grid reference system (cartesian)
  • Lat and Long – GPS – uses WGS84 lat-long, no projection

Some projects worth mentioning:

  • Macquarie map of Indigenous Australia 2007
  • georeferencing – way of matching data
  • street address referencing
  • Geographical names register
  • Geonames
  • georeferencing 2 – usually raster arc gis
  • google earth and overlaying maps over time
  • PHALMS Parramatta Heritage Archeological Landscape Management Study
  • Digitising (Heurist)
  • South Seas Project
  • Digital Harlem 1915 – 1930
  • Dictionary of Sydney
  • CHGIS (Harvard, Griffith, Fudan, Russian Academy of Science)
  • A vision of Britain over time
  • Sydney Harbour landfill
  • BioMap – biofuel research in Europe
  • simile timeline MIT
  • Angkot fly through – real map with data vis laid on top

Some tools:

  • Field collection – i-pad looks very promising 3g model
  • smart phones – embedded GeoTags in images
  • FieldHelper Vsn 2 – GPS/camera mapping
  • abc innovation – using google earth and timeline
  • Sydney TimeMap – ARC SPIRT Grant (2000 – 2002)
  • TimeMap – useful tool – mobile version in development
  • Heurist Vsn 3

THATCamp CBR Report

1 09 2010

Last weekend I participated in a very interesting event titled THATcamp Canberra, which was organised by Tim Sherratt (@wragge), Cath Styles (@cathstyles) and Mitchell Whitelaw (@mtchl) and hosted by University of Canberra.

To explain, THATCamp Canberra was a user-generated ‘unconference’ on digital humanities. It was inspired by the original THATCamp, organised by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, and is one of a growing number of regional THATCamps springing up around the world. (‘THAT’ = ‘The Humanities And Technology’.)

The unconference model works on the idea that the participants generate the sessions, based on individual interests and research. In the lead up to THATCamp, participants blogged suggestions and then when we met on Saturday morning, the program was decided as a group, facilitated by Tim.

The sessions covered a broad range of topics including data visualisation to digital mapping to semantic web to augmented/digital space. Here is link to the THATCamp CBRprogram from Cath Styles Flickr page.

The sessions I attended were:

I missed the data visualisation session, but thanks to Michael Honey, this list of data viz links is a great resource of information about projects and tools focused on the visualisation of data.

As a general comment, the content of the sessions I attended was very rich, which was achieved by sharing experiences and tools in the spirit of collaboration. I have referred to some of the tools and projects in my reports on the workshops I attended. I went to THATcamp hoping to gain some practical skills and I found this, plus much more. I think the unconference model is a great way to focus on what participants want to explore, which was a big contributor to the success of the event.

Here are some other posts and reports on THATCamp Canberra: