Week 6: visualising data

I think the coolest part about this unit was all the real world examples we gained from Tim’s personal research. The next greatest thing was all the visual aids.

A Visual History of Which Countries Have Dominated the Summer Olympics is one such visual aid. At first I couldn’t quite figure out how this was relevant and then eventually I didn’t care because it was so fun to explore. The best part was discovering that China literally dominates in Table Tennis. Although there are some not so obvious problems with the way this information is displayed. For instance it doesn’t tell you how many people competed or what the ‘other countries in Europe’ are. Also the wavy lines are a little misleading at times.

The main part about this week was learning how to use Plot.ly. The reason for this is because for quite a while I fully intended to use this tool to help me get my data into neat tables to put into my website. I soon discovered that this was entirely pointless as the data I intended to use was already in table form. Doh. I did get to use Import.io to extract data from Wikipedia though, so not a complete fail.

This week was all about data visualisation, I get that now. It helped prep me for the following weeks when I learned how to use Carto and Google Maps which is another way of visualising data and which I used in my project.


Week 5: realising my project

This was the week we looked at voyant tools and election speeches and Same diff. I learned a lot this week but I am not going to go through everything because then I might as well copy and paste the tutorial notes. This was the week the whole point of the unit started coming into focus as I began to really develop my project. I think the point of the tutorial was to look at how we can analyse text as data but at the time the whole thing just confused me and it’s only with hind sight that I can see the point.

However, despite my confusion, the tools we learned about this week made me think about my project objective more. I knew at this point that I wanted to do something with public art in Australia. I actually really wanted to use the QueryPic tool to bring together news articles about public art in different states. I ended up going in a different direction after realising it wasn’t quite what I wanted to achieve for my final project. But it did help get me thinking which was more than what I was doing up till that point.


Better late then never I guess. But I do remember week 9, mostly because of the redaction art. I’ve said this before but I really think redaction art is a clever way of making a boring job interesting. I currently volunteer at the National Museum and whilst the work is interesting, too much of the same thing can be tedious at times.

Then we did the finding faces thing. The fact that humans see faces in everything is something I was already aware of. For ages I’ve been that person who will look at a photo or tree or scene and see a face in it. I think it is totally cool that there are tools that can find those faces for you and with quite a bit of accuracy. It’s scary though because what if the wrong kind of person was using that technology to find you everywhere you went. According to CSI and NCIS that’s a thing.

The Anne Boleyn medal was the most interesting thing beside the redaction art for me. I agree that the whole thing seems a little fishy. But at the same time it is a really cool demonstration of how such technologies can be used. I remember thinking that I can’t wait to get into the museums and art gallery field and research similar situations just like this.

Week 12: hard to focus

I’ll freely admit that I had a hard time focusing this week. I made it through learning more about the x-ray tool and then got majorly distracted.

Firstly I was on task distracted as I made my way through and read a lot of Tim’s various websites. The redaction thing is seriously amusing and being an artist myself I found it particularly interesting. The fact that someone put their own spin on an otherwise boring job speaks to me in many ways.

I then proceeded to be distracted by RecordSearch — People Inside for Greasemonkey. I did not read all of it but quite a bit of it. My favourite part was The Real Faces of White Australia. I love reading about the history of Australia in general but I got more than just an interesting read from this site. I like the grid format of the page and how the information pops out when you click on it. I would actually like to use this method of showing information for my project.

This prompted me to become distracted by my project. I started looking at how I could get a similar effect with the free theme I was using. Obviously it’s not possible, but it could be, if I knew the right coding and spent some money on it.

Project Reflection

My project is intended to be a website that incorporates maps and data to list the different public artworks from all over Australia. The part of the project that is being submitted is for the states of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Western Australia (WA). Both are displayed in different formats and show off the different ways of displaying the information as well as what has been learned through this project. The ACT page is complete while the WA page is simply an example of another way of completing the project. The homepage is also complete and a full menu exists.

This project aims to be a comprehensive and easy to read website for the average heritage and art fanatic who wishes to explore the public art close to them. The website is also a reference point for those who have found a public art work and wish to know more about it.

The project taught me a lot about data entry, html coding, the use of tools such as CartoDB, Google Spreadsheets, Google Maps, WordPress and more. Once these tools had been successfully embedded into the page they worked well and I was very pleased with the result.

However getting to the point of success was difficult. The WordPress help page and forums became a constant guide for me. One example involves the attempt to insert tables into the ACT page. Without the purchase of plugins, the table had to be crafted from scratch. Eventually a website was found that could convert CSV into HTML code and then I was able to simply copy and paste the table into the page. However there was still some formatting issues. The description did not fit unless it was placed on its own line. I had to copy and paste code before and after each description to create the desired affect you will see on the ACT page.

Another problem involved the CartoDB map. When I copied and pasted the embed code provided by Carto, WordPress would only publish the link. Through the help pages and forums I was able to learn that WordPress and Carto actually work together so well that I didn’t need an embed code and could just copy and paste a link to the map and it would have the desired effect.

My biggest problem arose when I realised there were certain things I knew could be done that I couldn’t do because they would require me purchasing a plugin, domain or widget. If I wanted to do anything outside the free theme I had chosen, I either had to find the right code or find an alternative.

The project was a success. This project has taught me what I can do and how I can do it. Even though it is not there yet, it could be there in the future. The possibilities are almost endless and that makes it successful. On the other hand the project achieved what it aimed to achieve. It is slowly becoming an interactive and easy to use website that shows the user where all the public art is in Australia. Whilst being far from completion, I hope to continue this project into the future, combining the formats I have used for both WA and the ACT to complete the WA page, as well as the rest of the states.


Future Plans:

While unfortunately incomplete, the website has taught me enough about the tools required that I can go ahead and finish the website. I have also learned what I can achieve if I did purchase my own domain and plugins. At the moment at the bottom of the ACT and WA pages you should find a “return to top” link. This is a simple code I wrote into the HTML tab of the page. However if you purchase a certain plugin, you can insert a widget that allows a similar “return to top” button to scroll with you as you scroll down the page.

Another interesting tool would be one that allows you to link the map pointers to the relevant information. That way you could just click on the map pointer and it would display all the information below the map or take you to another page with all the information on it.

Another widget that I am interested in inserting into my website is one that allows the user to comment and contribute to the website. Currently on the “User Contribution” page you will find something along those lines. This is only the free version however, and the paid version is a lot more sophisticated. I chose to do the ACT page because it had the most amount of information out of all the states. However I wish to make it so that each artwork has an image attached and more information about the artist, origin and inspiration of the artwork.

I would like to learn more about online mapping software’s such as Google Maps. I want to be able to do more with the maps to the point where a person could simply click on the map and it would give them directions to the artwork. I am already exploring this and you can find an example of this through the “Bessie Rischbieth Statue” link on the WA page. Unfortunately, however, for the maps to work you need to be logged into a Google account. I would like to be able to access direction through Google maps without being having a Google account.

Also on the Bessie Rischbieth Statue page you will find that when you click on the blue marker it shows you all the information and a description. I am going to leave the basic information there and move the description and other information below, out of the map field. I think this will have a cleaner look.

I have really enjoyed this project and have learned a lot more than I expected. This project has been a very successful one and I am very proud of what has been achieved.

Please feel free to have a look: https://kathrynoerlemans.wordpress.com/

Week 10

SO this week was extra fun as promised. I think I especially enjoyed looking at the different virtual reality software’s. I have already heard of and experimented with google cardboard as my mum owns one and has used it on her trip to Africa. But I really enjoyed finding out about the cultural institution VR tours through google maps. I am in two minds about it however. I don’t know if it is entirely a good idea. But I do think that it would be a good tool to use in conjunction with other collection materials for cultural institutions. I can see how do a VR tour of a museum with links to the objects and their information could be a useful tool. With a tool like that you could access the museum after  visiting it to go over and remember what it is you explored during that visit. You could also use it to see a place before going to it to see if it worth going to depending on your interests. As was pointed out in class, another use would be for disabled persons who can’t access the museum for whatever reason.

At the same time I do believe there is the down side of not going to the museum at all because there is a virtual reality viewer. You could get away with not going at all and then the museum or galleries attendance rates would go down which is not good for funding and the like.

In the end I think this is a good tool to use in moderation. The National Museum has the virtual reality site through google which works in conjunction with some object links. It shows you enough of the museum to get you curious, but not too much so that there is still something to see when you go in.

That’s my opinion anyway.

Till next time

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish

Week 7: how big is Australia REALLY?

Since my early introduction to west wing I have known about the why and how of the obscure map of the world and so this was nothing new to me. What was new was that funky map we got to play ‘The True Size of.” What a great tool and so educational.

What was really great about this weeks tutorial was we learned about maps and how to put data into them in such a way as to show off some really cool information. I mean just check out this map we created in Carto about bicycle accidents in Canberra (using data provided by Tim of course).

I am definitely looking forward to using this tool as part of my project.

Lastly, the best part (or rather the coolest) was looking at MapWarper. I won’t be using this tool in my project but I was really intrigued by it. The function of this tool is to place old maps over newly mapped locations. We took an old map of Melbourne and used this tool to warp it into shape over a ‘google map’ type of map background. It didn’t take a whole lot, just a few markers to give the tool a base to go off and then it did the rest. What you end up with is a modern map with the old map pasted over it and you can change the opacity so that you can see both maps at the same time. It’s a great tool and really shows how a place (Melbourne) has changed.

I really enjoyed this class.


Week 4 I embedded some charts

Today was a great day. The following is the various graphs I messed with on Plot.ly.

This took some time because I goofed and didn’t select the male and female numbers as the y axis. Got there in the end.

So this tutorial really opened up my mind to what I could do for my project which is really cool because I was a little stuck with that.

I like how you can pull together a whole heap of information without too much effort. This could be really useful not just in the heritage field but also for a couple of my assignments I have coming up, so yay.

I am probably going to do the tutorials on how to use the command line to put data into folders onto my computer like Tim showed us in class. I can immediately see how that would be useful in an assignment, especially as I use trove a LOT for articles.


Reflection (not forgotten, just)

So after forgetting to reflect last week, I almost forgot again. But here I am, surprised by the very nature of Google search. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I knew but still I am some form of shocked. I don’t believe we should have a filter bubble. When I search something, I am searching for the most real piece of information possible that fits into the category of my search rather than the category of my personalised views and opinions. A search should be unbiased and untainted. You should be able to receive the tiniest detail of information based on its accuracy, not your web browsing history and social media history.

The last part about copyright I did have knowledge of. However I was unaware of how it affected our ability to interact with our cultural heritage and history. In a way I am surprised there is not a better filter system that allows certain less sensitive materials through and more sensitive materials are kept locked up. So it talked about how the library would have to go through and check every author and if they died before 1955 and this process could lead to less information being released. But what if a system was creative that could do it for the library? I would think that while we would lose some heritage to copyright, we would gain others from it. Besides that, eventually it would all be released anyway because eventually it would pass that 70 year mark.

As inaccurate as that thought may be, I just thought I’d share.

That said, I enjoyed this weeks tutorial. I mostly enjoyed messing with the Serendip-o-matic for a bit. Very distracting.


Why am I here

Hey all,

My name is Katie Oerlemans. That last name is Dutch but I was born in Australia. I’m studying Digital Heritage because it is part of the course as a core unit. This is probably not a unit I would have selected had I had a choice but I’m enjoying it anyway.

So far I’ve learned some cool stuff and I look forward to learning some more cool stuff. I am still a little confused about what is required for the assessment items but I’m sure I will understand in due course.

I have to say I really like the use of the different platforms, from Slack to this Blog. I kinda wish at the beginning of the Moodle page there were easy and quick links to all the login pages such as the Slack site, this Blog and the Digital Heritage Handbook. This would make getting around easier, rather than having to go a find the links, which are all over the place.

Well that’s me, Have a good day, Bye