Just briefly, over spring break I researched pictures in the UMW Library’s online Digital Archives and found some great pictures to use for our site. There were so many interesting ones that it was hard to limit myself to pictures pertaining to the buildings. For example, there are some funny Devil-Goat Day pictures from previous decades. I think I found enough pictures that we can almost do a before and after sort of presentation: the old pictures of buildings and the new pictures which our group is taking. I’ll be uploading some to the site this week in order to show the class on Thursday for our group presentation.
So Cassie and Kayle had some great news today-we have a campus map for our site!! Professor Hanna helped out our group so much by providing us with the map and also adding the Anderson Center to the map. Now we hope to be able to upload our own pictures of campus buildings so the map will resemble a Google map. It’s very exciting to finally have this crucial piece of our project! It’s all coming together slowly but surely!
I chose to look at the General Billy Mitchell wikipedia page because he was the subject of my History 485 paper. The page looks like it provides a good overview of his life as well as his military career, airpower advocacy and the court-martial which makes him famous. I am somewhat surprised that there a good amount of endnotes for the article. In addition, the page’s bibliography also contains some of the books which I used in my research. The discussion tab does mention some corrections on military terms and other suggestions on organization of the article. Some of the commenters get very specific on different aspects of Mitchell’s advocacy, e.g. whether he meant one thing but said another. Someone actually called him a nut, which just made me laugh. The commenter said: “He was a nut who assumed that naval warships would be swept from the seas by land based aircraft. This was tested in WW-II and the result was that naval air swept the skies of land based aircraft. Just look at the attempts of the USAF to plan some way of being part of the upcoming Taiwan-war when it’s clearly going to be PLAAF vs USN. Hcobb (talk) 11:29, 16 September 2009 (UTC)” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Billy_Mitchell_%28general%29). It is interesting to see people’s perspectives on Mitchell, especially when this person writes in 2009 about the inter-war years which is the period of Mitchell’s main airpower advocacy. It is also interesting because this person says Mitchell is a nut and tells us to look at the Air Force. Well my friend, the Air Force wasn’t even around until 1947 which was years after Mitchell’s death.
The other wikipedia page I looked at was the Boston Red Sox page. It gives a good and brief history of the team and its development since the beginning of the 20th century. It contains links to other wiki pages on the different periods of the team’s history. The page also contains a nice section about the retired numbers of important Red Sox players as well as members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. This page surprisingly contains 92 endnotes, so I am more likely to trust the legitimacy of the links and sources. However, under the talk tab there are a lot of edit requests, meaning that some people believe that certain facts about the team are inaccurate.
Monday Kay and I went to see Mr. Tim Owens in DTLT (Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies) and he helped us so much with the custom layout that we want to use for our website!! It makes so much more sense now and I can really picture how we want the website to look. We are going to use UMWBlogs as our platform and Tim will assist us in making sure that all components of our site work properly, especially our interactive map. I have a good amount of experience with UMWBlogs so using this as our platform makes me feel a lot more comfortable than trying to use Omeka or even just WordPress.com. We also have our final milestones set which is good, and our division of labor seems fair and well-distributed. Hopefully everything will go smoothly, although there are always those little hiccups that come with technology. But I have confidence that our group will overcome any difficulty.
I think that because we actually had to sit down and draft out our project in terms of the big picture, everyone has a better idea of how we need to accomplish all of our goals. One difficulty we faced was deciding how to divide the labor. Researching turned out to be a larger part of the project than we initially thought when two of our members began the research. Now another member is also researching and the other two will focus on researching old pictures of campus buildings in the UMW archives, eventually uploading materials to the Omeka site, and also meeting with Professor Spencer again from the Historic Preservation department. I think the group contract was very beneficial.
All of the features that Andy Rush presented to us seem really cool! However, I definitely do not think that I could use most of those programs on my own. I am not a Mac, I am a PC. While I do have some experience with computers and using online tools, I definitely lack audio/video technological skills. I think voiceovers would be a great tool for our buildings group if we decide to film a short video of campus. So I’m sure our group will need some help from the technology department.
I attempted to use Google Earth but was unsuccessful in saving a link to post. I was able to record a route but for some reason could not figure out how to save it and make it replay. Hopefully I can find someone to show me how to do it eventually even if we do not use it for our project. It’s probably something I should know how to do, especially in this age of technology.
I very much prefer Google Maps to Google Earth because the tools are easier to utilize and I am much more familiar with the interface. I also like that in certain areas you can have a street view on Google Maps and almost ride along from point A to B. I also think that Google Maps would be more applicable to our project of the UMW Buildings. I agree with Cassie’s point that Google Earth would be limiting to our project because of the top down view. Google Maps would be a useful tool because we could easily take pictures of the campus buildings and upload the pictures to the map to serve as its icon. It is simple but it will look really good!
Here is my Google Map: http://g.co/maps/2quhq
This map shows a route that I took while visiting my boyfriend in Virginia Beach =) It looks really cool in street view too! It’s cool to be able to see it online and say, “Hey we’ve driven on that road!” Haha sorry if that’s corny.
1) Zotero, Omeka, & RSS
I really wish that I had known about Zotero when I was gathering information for my History 485. It would have made saving journal articles much easier. In addition to research and citation purposes, Zotero could be used to save sites that you use for any other purposes, e.g. news sites, shopping sites, things to put on social media sites, etc. It is nice to have the ability to save items online without having to copy and paste them into email or favorite them. It is less hassle to access them at a later time, especially if you are not on the computer where you originally accessed those sites.
Blogs definitely can be used for other purposes than personal reflection. I have completed numerous blog projects for history classes, such as U.S. History in Film, History of Spain, History of American Technology, Writing Through Media, etc. I wrote for the Bullet for one semester and the Bullet sites enables the articles which one person writes to appear as posts on the Bullet UMW Blogs site. That way I do not have to search through the Bullet website in order to find my articles in the archives.
I am not very familiar with RSS feeds, but the way I understand them, is that they function like Google Reader, and even the Facebook Newsfeed or Twitter Timeline, to an extent. Omeka could be used for purposes other than academics. For example, you could do a site about your family and include pictures and such as collections and exhibits. I think that Mary Washington could use Omeka to add a creative flair to archiving its own digital history. Instead of having things on the main website, there could be an Omeka site that has different collections for different parts of Mary Washington history. This is similar to what our class is doing, but the school could take it a step further. There are links just on the Archives site, but those could be presented in a more creative way on Omeka. I think it would be a cool way to portray the school and its history. This is not to say that the Archives Page isn’t awesome, because I think it’s great to have so much of UMW’s history digitized. Omeka would just be an alternative way to present the information.
I think it would be cool if the UMW website had an RSS feed (and if there is one that exists already and I have not seen it, forgive my ignorance!). Then daily announcements or pieces of news that are important to the campus could be available right on the site, instead of having to look at the Facebook page or read through emails, etc.
2)Review of Sites
Valley of the Shadow website
I like the use of the map which is embedded with links to different parts of the project. It provides a simple outlook with a deeper examination with information and analysis. It is also well organized in the way that it is divided chronologically. This site provides the viewer to either read a lot of information about the topic in addition to searching the records. There is also a link to the homepage at the bottom of most of the other pages which is also helpful and does not require the user to hit the ‘back’ button numerous times. I would want to incorporate the map aspect into our site because we are doing our project on the UMW Buildings and having links within the map would help present the material in a clear and organized manner.
French Revolution Site
I like how everything is organized in a site map with embedded links that list links to other pages or just simply take you to the other pages. I think the maroon background makes it a little difficult to see what else is going on within the site, the strong color is a little distracting. The site could be spread out a little more instead of cramming everything into the left corner of the page. I would want our site’s homepage to be evenly distributed and not have the “too busy” appearance. I do like their image link and the animation used to introduce that page.
Archives @ UMW
I really like this site because the presentation of the images is very similar to what we hope to present on our site. It gives a good idea of what kind of images already exist and what new ones we can find to add to the uniqueness of our site. It also lists all of the campus buildings which is helpful to our site to make sure that we include all of the buildings. In addition we can figure out how to group the buildings if necessary, to make the site more organized. It is also interesting to see the way campus used to be and how it is now.
I like the “enter the page” link however, once I clicked the “enter” link, I was slightly disappointed by the blandness of the site. The chart was very boring and not colorful. Then the maps that the links on the chart took you to were interesting, especially since some of them were animated, but other than that, there is not too much information presented right away. You have to click on more links at the top of the page to see the information. It just seems like it is not well organized and the viewer has to do more work to see the information.
Gilded Age Site
I really like the organization of this site. There is a lot of information presented right away on the homepage which is not always good, but it is not too distracting and served its purpose. I really like the pictures utilized on all aspects of the site. There are helpful links on the left and then links within the pictures on the right. I also like that this site provides sources that they used and also has a document archive for legal documents, newspaper articles, photographs, etc. For example, under “Interpretation and Narrative” the text cites a newspaper article and within the citation there is a link to an image of the actual article. This site provides simple upfront information as well as deeper information that you have to find within the text. I would want to incorporate the use of deeper information into our site.
Omeka site: “An Aviator’s Story: Items from the Leonard H. Clark Military History Collection”
I like that the entrance to the collection is Leonard Clark’s appointment card from the War Department. You can then click a link to take you to the exhibit. On the homepage it describes the purpose of the site and how the site is divided. However, I was disappointed to find that a lot of the links within the various divisions no longer work or just do not have text within in any longer. The only one that works and actually displays text is the Epilogue. I have to wonder if the information was removed and transferred to another site? The digital collection does not contain any photographs as it claims it does nor does it have any other information either.
My name is Samantha Warring but I go by Sam, and I am a senior history major. I took this class to fulfill my last 400 level requirement, but I am excited about the projects that we get to create and to also improve my [somewhat poor] technological skills. I can do email, Facebook, and UMWblogs and…. that’s about it. I have a twitter account but I do not tweet very often. Besides this course I am taking History of U.S. Travel, Military History, and the American Presidency. This spring I will be presenting my senior history thesis on General Billy Mitchell.
I’m pretty excited about my group’s project-UMW Buildings! 🙂 I think this is going to be a really interesting project, and for me and all those other seniors out there, a nice way to say goodbye to campus right before graduation. Looking forward to a great semester!