Alice’s Digital Project Reflection

 

The concept of my website is to describe sites around the world that had gain citizenship of independence from both the government and people. The website has five pages. The home page, about page and the three sites around the world that are independent (two in New Zealand and one in America).

The reason I used the program Wix to create my website is because it was recommended to me by my sister. She had previously created a website for a debating tournament that she was organising and offered me advice on what to do. Wix is also free to use which was another added bonus. For Wix you start with a huge number of templates to choose from and then work your way up from that while adding in the photos you want to use and adding the information. The template I chose for this website is one that was designed for showcasing a singer or bands profile. This meant that it had lots of room for photos as well as room to write a summary of information. I decided to rely heavily on visuals for the websites pages due to the lack of a lot of information of the sites. A lot of sources for the places such as the tree that owns itself are blog posts by people who have actually been to the place. Since I cannot travel to Georgia or New Zealand I am only able to use information that are facts rather than describing the place fully and blogging about my experience there. There are multiple blogs on the internet that describe the different sites I have mentioned in my website.

My only challenge with WIX was that while I could type directly into the text box it was not very convenient. It was hard to go back on and change mistakes and wasn’t easy to direct. I instead would type the information into Word and then copy and paste it over. I am not sure if this is something that is normal with any website design program but it was the only compromise I had to do outside of the program.  Another annoyance was that the program would not save as I went so I had to constantly re save in case something happened to my computer. Once again I am not sure if that is usual with most website design programs.

I had originally intended that I would put a map on the website showing where the sites are all over the world but in the end decided against it. Since there are only three sites in the world that maintain an independence status it would have looked like a pretty pathetic map in my opinion. It is something that could definitely be added on in years when there might be more sites like this found in the world but for now it is not something necessary. It seems likely that the only forthcoming sites that will gain citizenship will be in New Zealand as they are the only country with two sites with citizenship covered under the one Act with the potential to cover more.

I had also originally intended for the website to be a bit more humerous and play more on the idea of the sites being independent sites that need no man. However, the idea to be obnoxiously pink with love hearts everywhere like you might see in an over exaggeration of a dating site gave way to having a nice aesthetic. I think this mainly changed after I read the Te Urewera Act (2014) and it listed all the reasons as to why these lands were important to the Maori people that I felt making too much fun of these sites wasn’t going to work. It would be harder to convey the importance of the sites to the people that had loved them if it seemed like I was making fun of them.

I am not completely happy with the photos that I used as I wished they were a bit higher resolution. I changed a few of the photos via filters but I am only half happy with the results. I have quite a few photos on each of the pages because I thought that good images rather than text might fully be able to portray the beauty of the independent sites.

The home page picture is of ‘The Tree that Owns Itself” It is meant to be a bit abstract and not give a full idea of what the tree looks like. I basically just wanted something that would look pretty and add to the feeling of how these independent sites are of an almost spiritual importance to people. This reasoning is also behind why I chose that particular photo for the about page. It represented to me the connectivity that people have with the Whanganui River even in modern times. Even though the river was mainly granted citizenship because of its relationship with the Maori people it does not mean that people all over New Zealand and people all over the world cannot have a spiritual connection with the river while walking among the trees or floating along the water. To some they might have the same spiritual experience when they walk into a church as they do when they spend time by this river. This same idea also relates to The Tree that Owns Itself after a single man decided that he wanted the tree that he loved to always because be protected because of his connection that he had to it in his life.

This whole assignment right from the beginning was a real challenge for me. From coming up with an idea on what to do the assignment on to being completely taken out of my comfort zone by designing a website. I had no experience at all when it came to this type of as assignment. On reflection, I wish I had chosen a topic that would have used more of the tools that were taught to me in class. I did not use many at all but for me just doing this quite basic website was quite a challenge and need a lot of patience and time from me. I cannot think of how I could have integrated more of the things we learnt in class more into the website. If I had more time I would like to have added more information. However, there are a lot of blogs that talk about the sites and their experiences there but there isn’t one that combines together all the independent sites in the world. Despite all of my criticism I am still happy with the result. I never thought in my life I would have to design a website so it has been nice to learn that I can.

 

 

Reflection Week 12

This unit has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone. Technology is not at all one of my strengths. I have however enjoyed learning about the links between heritage and technology in ways that I have never even thought about before.

My favourite part was looking at over the weeks how different museums have adapted to online technology. The one that stands out to me is how helpful it is for the Smithsonian to have 3D reproductions online. Even though you cannot touch it physically it means an object such as a jug can be seen again as a object that was used and seen from all angles rather than an object on a pedestal.

I also learnt further how to use Trove which is not something I had never really used before. I mainly use it now for looking up old knitting patterns.

Although I don’t think I would have chosen this unit as an elective (mainly because as a I said before it is completely out of my depth) I still have enjoyed learning new skills that have given me a bit more understanding for the direction that digital cultural heritage is going.

Reflection Week 4

When typing archives into the Queensland Government website it came up with mostly the water levels for coastal towns in Queensland. When I looked at the archives for the town of Cardwell they only had records from 1996 to the present. This means that you can’t do a really comprehensive big graph on the water levels for the town.  Much to my amusement the files only had one view each.

Overall I found this week to be a bit hard for me because of the amount of technical jargon. It usually takes me twice as long and two reads to understand for me how you can scrape and clean data. Even then I still don’t think i will fully be able to explain it.

 

Reflection Week 3

This week was interesting because it reflected a more cultural side of the internet. The conversation about the different results of professional and unprofessional hair for women was thought provoking. and informative. I think that it is easy to forget how much the internet caters to our own personal interests based on our previous searches. Even two people from the same backgrounds and beliefs can have vastly different sources available to them on the internet.

Out of all the recommended readings the one that I enjoyed the most was “Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery” Feminist History is always of particular interest for me so I really enjoyed reading about how Feminist Historians are tackling histories past histories to make it more relevant and accurate for women.

Reflection Week 7

From the historical point of view this week I really enjoy looking at the maps that show historical events such as the forced migration of enslaved people in the USA. It is interesting because it shows with much more drama about how far and how many people were forced to migrate than by simple just telling people.

This week is relevant to my assignment as I am planning on putting a map graph for my assignment. The system that i am using to create the website does not have graph systems for it but it is easy for me to understand which is important for me because creating a website is for me completely new. I am still not 100% sure on what program to use for the map but this week has pointed out to me some potential problems that I could encounter and what to look out for.

Reflection Week 10

I haven’t had much experience with seeing 3D images in museums. I think that in the future that it might become quite a interesting way to create exhibits. Something that I envision when i think of grand scale 3d imaging is that it could be used in a way to project a replica image of a building where the building had been. This would mean that people visiting would be able to walk through the image while also being able to see it from afar. Also having a 3d image of an object means that the viewer will be able to see the object from all sides and the bottom rather than just a front on vision of the object. The Smithsonian museum having the 3D images of some of their objects meant that you could see the creators markings on the bottom of their ceramics which I think is very informative for someone who wanted to study the object but can’t see the object in person.

The most groundbreaking use of 3D technology recently is when the Institute of Digital Archaeology were able to recreate through photos of the recently destroyed Arc of Triumph in Syria a life size 3D model. It was unveiled in London and will travel around the world before returning back to Syria.  For more information this is the link to the website http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36070721

 

 

 

Week 9 Reflection

What i found to be the most interesting was the analysis of the difference between the human eye and mentality of seeing faces in different objects while a computer is unable to do so.  Random blobs have been used by psychiatrists for many years to find out what their patients see in it. If a computer used this system it would not work because their job is to analyse and not to be analysed.

Image result for seeing faces in random things

This is my favourite of the images of faces in random things. I think the reason that i like this one is because it is in a building that has been around for a long time making it in a way a historical face in a random object. Also like with many faces in random objects it is completely unplanned but unlike many other ones this one is literally set in stone. It is also quite cute as well.

The most informative part for me as it was something that i have never really considered before it that facial recognition can be used for historical portraits. While obviously there needs to be care in thinking how reliable the results could be it could potentially open up a very interesting form of historical debate and maybe even answer some unanswered questions.

 

Bibliography:  Plafke, J. (2011, February 9). 50 things that look like faces. Retrieved November 2, 2016, from http://www.themarysue.com/things-that-look-like-faces-pareidolia/

Reflection- Week 6

The video about data visualisation i found to be helpful because i sometimes do work best when i am given a broad 3 minute video as a introduction and then work onward.  Out of the two critically thinking websites that i was to talk about i found the origin of species edition chart to be the most interesting. It was also pretty memerising to watch. While the Kindred Britain website was impressive it was hard to navigate at times. I wouldn’t use it above a search engine like wikipedia. I really did struggle with plot.ly but overall i needed help with figuring out how to work the graph programs.

Reflection – Week 5

What I found to be most interesting about this weeks activities was typing in what words were used in election speeches since 1901. One example that stood out was that the using the word commonwealth to describe Australia was primarily used before WWI and between the two wars as well as a bit after WWII. Interestingly the word commonwealth isn’t mentioned again until 1972, the year Whitlam was elected. Whitlam uses the word commonwealth and nation many time in his 1972 speech, more than any other election speech that has been given.

Another interesting example was that the word environment had not been used in any election speech until 1977 and has not been mentioned since 2001. This pattern illustrates how in recent politics the topics that have been the most important have not necessarily been about the sustainability of Australia’s environment.

 

Hi

My name is Alice and I am from a really small town that not many people know how to pronounce and came to Canberra to study.

I am studying the Exploring Digital Heritage unit mainly because it is a compulsory unit for me.  I might have chosen this unit anyway because it does cover an area of heritage that I do not have much knowledge of.

I do a lot of knitting and sewing.