Putting the Digital Humanities in its place

BootCamp: Putting the Digital Humanities in its place … what, why and how to map
Presented by Ian Johnson.
Received wisdom has it that 80% of all databases contain spatial information, but that could be an underestimate. Even the most unlikely candidates can be spatial – philosophy, poetry, music, dance, art, epigraphy, invention and personal histories. Not to mention institutions, historical events, archaeological landscapes and twitter feeds.
In this bootcamp session we’ll try and identify the places where spatial information hides, look at why this information might be useful, and look at ways of acquiring it, managing it, analysing it and presenting it – often through maps, 3D visualisations, animations or simulations. The emphasis will be on the new generation of free, easy-to-use, web-based tools which have made mapping an easy call. We will also look at free sources of map data (and how to create your own, including contemporary location-based data).
To wrap it up and to give participants confidence that mapping is easy with the right tools, we will create an interactive database of historical buildings in Canberra using Heurist, digitise their footprints with Google, send the data to Google Maps and Google Earth with timeline filtering, overlay some historical events, pull in some other map objects from a GeoRSS feed and export the whole map as a KML file which could be later viewed in Google Earth.
No technical expertise will be required other than using a browser. We will be putting up a list of useful web resources (information about mapping, free sources of data, software tools, forums etc.) along with a PowerPoint of example applications, with links to their web sites, for ongoing reference.

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