Blog Post 4

James Ambuske gave a very helpful presentation in class today. He first went through what “digital history” is and how digital humanities projects can present historical events. He then tied that into a presentation on the creation of mapping projects, starting by showing us completed digital humanities projects that used maps in their arguments. The examples he showed in the presentation were one of the parts I found most interesting, especially the projects where the older maps (from the 18th century) were fitted onto a current map, which is something creative that I would not have thought to do.

We then briefly discussed how this skill of using mapping in digital humanities projects could be useful in our own project with the letters of Tom Carter and Ezra Pound. For example, we could map out where Tom Carter was writing from (Washington and Lee and his home in Martinsville, Virginia) and where his correspondents were from, including Ezra Pound who was writing from D.C.

Probably the most helpful part of the presentation was when we got to practice using Neatline, which could be very useful if we decide to include maps in our project. Neatline, as a plugin for Omeka, allows us to manipulate maps and add information onto maps to create a digital project with them. We practiced with a map of Charlottesville, Virginia, where we learned some of Neatline’s features. For example, we learned how to insert timelines onto a map, highlight certain portions, draw circles or polygons around certain areas, and insert information and pictures that link to certain sites on the map.

One question I might have asked but didn’t was how Neatline maps would appear in the public view if we used it with Omeka. Would the map be something we linked to? Or be a page by itself? This is something I could easily find out by practicing using the program a little bit more though.