Category: Week 4

Week 4 Recap: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (or, DSSRF Takes a Road Trip)

Week 4 marked the halfway point of our program, and fittingly we spent this week finishing up our review of tools. Monday we worked with timeline and mapping applications, including TimelineJS, StoryMapJS, and Timemapper. They all work on very similar infrastructure, although TimelineJS is more well-developed than the other two, and each platform allows for embedding of multimedia components, so a timeline or storymap can contain more than just images and text. We did a practice exercise with TimelineJS, and started building a timeline of James Merrill Linn’s life, including excerpts from his Civil War diaries that we worked with in our text encoding sessions. On Tuesday, Diane Jakacki joined us again for an overview of Google Fusion Tables, Palladio, and Gephi. These applications support a number of different forms of data visualization, including network graphs and maps. We looked at Micki Kaufman’s Quantifying Kissinger project as an example of some of the very sophisticated visualizations that can be created using Gephi. This was by far the most complex of the tools we’ve worked with all summer, and in the end we learned that no one should Gephi alone 😉

On Wednesday we convened to share some initial project components that the students had been working on. No spoilers, but I will say that everyone is making tremendous progress and that it’s so rewarding to see project ideas coming to life in various digital platforms. I’m very impressed with the students’ decisions about what tools they’ll be using, and their ability to make a case for why those particular tools are suited for each project. I suspect we’ll still be working through some final decisions about tools in the coming weeks, but for now, you can read more about their tool choices in our Week 4 reflections.

On Thursday, we took our much-anticipated trip to Bryn Mawr College for #dsmeet17. A small group of program facilitators of digital scholarship summer programs conceived of the idea of this meetup earlier this year, and it was a great opportunity for us all to get together and talk with folks from several institutions. In addition to the DSSRF cohort, students from programs at Lafayette, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, and Penn were in attendance, as were librarians and instructional technologists from each institution. A centerpiece of the day were the lightning talks; through these we were able to learn about a wide variety of digital scholarship projects that students are working on. A number of the projects discussed focused on themes of identity and cross-cultural contexts, and a few students mentioned their hope to translate their projects into their native languages. The range of project topics was far-reaching, and included: representations of disability in love reality television; Sami identity in Sweden; text encoding of documents related to William Penn’s contact with American Indians; stratification in Bogota, Colombia; and creating apps for the Microsoft HoloLens. Some of the projects were more developed than others; for example, the Lafayette students were just one week from completing their program, so they had mostly finished sites to showcase. Our students remarked that seeing finished (or nearly finished) projects gave them a better sense of the process and what they are working towards. Once again, I was impressed with their enthusiasm and passion for their research that came through in each of their lightning talks. Each student is working on a project that is deeply personal to them, and they were able to convey that to the audience in a short amount of time. The program facilitators also had an opportunity to meet and talk over lunch, and it was great to exchange ideas about how our programs are run and consider changes we might make in future years.

As we move into the second half of our program, it’s astonishing to realize how quickly time is going this summer. As Courtney said a couple of weeks ago, it has been extremely rewarding and gratifying to watch our students work through the research process, continually hone their ideas, and give feedback to each other on their projects. We’re excited to see what happens in the next four weeks, and how each student’s project turns out!

Week 4 – Justin

The tools I plan on using are:

  • Tableau
  • Scalar
  • Timeline JS
  • Voyant

I’m using Tableau in order to create data visualizations from the data I’ve been collecting on the 2016 year from films from 12 production companies. Tableau has so many ways to customize the visualizations that it would make sense to use it so that my data visualizations are both clear and easy to read while also being interactive and making the user experience better.

Scalar is a great way for me to present my project. At Bryn-Mawr, I got to see the different ways other students were using Scalar and now I have an idea as to how my project will actually be structured as a site. It will start with an introduction to LGBT representation in both Hollywood and Independent cinema. I’ll use the timeline feature that Scalar has or Timeline JS in order to display a timeline of important moments relating to LGBT representation in cinema. The next part will be the data visualizations from the 2016 year, so people can get a sense of what representation looks like today. This will aid in the final part. The part after the data visualizations will be my case studies of specific films and an important concept relating to LGBT representation in film such as “Race and Culture” and “Authenticity.” I want to create at least one or two more case studies. The final part will be the discussion section. With all of the data that was presented and the different concepts relating to representation being explained people who are well versed on LGBTQ+ issues and people who aren’t will be able to have a constructive conversation about representation in cinema.

Voyant is one of the tools I plan on using for my case study on Moonlight. I’m going to analyze the script and discuss the representation of an LGBT character in regards to race and culture. I won’t need it for my case study on Authenticity, but depending on the other case studies I decide to do I may use it.

Week 4 – Rennie Heza

From encoding Civil War documents to visualizing the Tate Collection, our program facilitators have exposed us to the wide-ranging applications of digital scholarship in the modern era of technology. The tools involved in these demonstrations have been equally comprehensive. Given the first year of the Bucknell DSSRF program is already halfway done, one of this week’s focuses was identifying the main tools with which I will spend the rest of the summer working. Below I will explain the tools I have decided to use, and briefly explain why I’ve selected these tools.

First, my research question, though it has been altered since the DSSRF program began, still includes data visualization. For that reason, I will present most of data in Tableau. Tableau Public allows for open-access data visualization with any properly formatted data. I especially prefer Tableau to similar products for its simple and aesthetically pleasing designs. Tableau allows for user-interaction, where visitors to my site can highlight or click on data points to discover more about specific players and teams. I feel strongly that my final site should allow users to choose the path taken when exploring the site, so Tableau is key in making this wish a reality. Using the individual player data combined to form team metrics, I can use Tableau to demonstrate the team statistics with the strongest predictive abilities.

In order to prove which metrics will be included to create an accurate and contextually reasonably model, I will be using R. Though we did not review the essential applications of R during the DSSRF program, I am fortunate to have a bit of experience in basic R. Beginning with a team-taught “Math and Politics” IP course I took my sophomore year, I have been experimenting in R for about 2 years. Not only is R capable of facilitating the creation of highly advanced models, but R is user friendly as well. In particular, an immensely helpful resource is Stack Exchange. On this open forum, users offer answers to questions already asked, as well as questions I pose to the community. Thus, R is a valuable asset to even the least code-inclined individuals given the support available 24/7 from around the globe.

I foresee smaller tools such as Rawgraphs and even TimelineJS playing a role in this project in the future. However, given the quick pace of the DSSRF program, my priority is to have a poignant presentation when July 21st rolls around. Thus, narrowing my focus to Tableau Public and R is the best way to ensure project completion.

Week 4 – Tools I will be using

A large majority of week 4 was spent on exploring story maps and timelines, figuring out how to use them and deciding how best to represent the information that I want to touch upon. The past week gave me a much better idea of how I want my final project to look and the direction in which I hope to take my project.

I have decided to use ESRI StoryMaps and TimelineJS for my project. I envision my final project to consist of mainly 2 parts – the first being case studies of individual companies and the second being a map that marks out the internet penetration rate of individual provinces in China. With these ideas in mind, and after learning more about the various digital tools, ESRI StoryMaps and Timeline JS seems to be the most useful in helping display the information I want to present.

ESRI StoryMaps is extremely user-friendly and allows to me easily build upon layouts to organize content. It also allows me to add in GIS maps which are a crucial part of my project, allowing me to explore and analyze the impact of internet use on different parts of the province and draw links between internet penetration and purchasing power per capita or household income, representing a measure of wealth in the different provinces. I am still working to build on the maps that I currently have and hope to ultimately develop a map that clearly marks out significant comparisons and links that are noteworthy. ESRI StoryMaps is ideal for my project for not only does it allow me to embed GIS maps on the webpage but also timelines I create on TimelineJS.

TimelineJS will be very useful in looking at the progress of the different companies over time. By marking out the significant milestones of each company and the context in which they occurred, it will be easier to understand the impacts these events have on consumers and what they mean for the economy. I am in the midst of building my first timeline for Alibaba and one of the main challenges I’m facing is picking out the events and milestones that are most important to my project. There are numerous events that can be very significant to the company and their investors, but I hope to focus on the events that impact consumers and the society in general. It also proves to be a challenge to cut down on the number of words on each slide to make it easier for readers to glance through and comprehend.

These are the 2 tools that I will be mainly working on, but I am still very open to changes and additions to alter or build upon what I already have. I have been mainly focusing on Alibaba Group over the past week and because Alibaba Group comprises, Taobao and Tmall, there are plenty of information I can put into the timeline. However, I am not sure if this will be the case for my other case studies, and perhaps a timeline will not be as useful for these other companies that I will be looking at. I’m excited to keep making new progress in the next few weeks!