Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
And held loosely at his side
Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news
So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind
a) I had an iPhone and
b) I was in London.
I look forward to seeing more of these sorts of things emerge. Imagine – mashing the physical, the digital, the past, and the present all at once. Landscape archaeology as palimpsest is a fairly standard idea, but these sorts of applications should only enhance the notion more popularly [he said, hopefully...]
- Mark Buchanan, “Meltdown Modeling: Could Agent-Based Computer Models Prevent Another Financial Crisis?” (pdf,1.2K), Nature, Vol. 460, August 6, 2009, 680-682.
- J. Doyne Farmer and Duncan Foley, “The Economy Needs Agent-Based Modelling” (pdf,922K), Nature, Vol. 460, August 6, 2009, 685-686 http://www.econ.iastate.edu/tesfatsi/EconomyNeedsABM.NatureAug2009.FarmerFoley.pdf
From THATCamp Paris, a manifesto for Digital Humanities (I translate from the French below, with a wee bit of a kickstart from Google Translate; I do not guarantee that this is a perfect or most accurate translation):
Manifesto for the Digital Humanities
We practitioners or observers of digital humanities (Digital Humanities) met in Paris at the THATCamp 18 and May 19, 2010.
During these two days, we have discussed, exchanged, reflected together on what are the digital humanities and we have tried to imagine and invent what they might become.
After these two days which are only one step, we propose to research communities and to all those involved in creating, editing, enhancement or preservation, a manifesto for “digital humanities”.
1. The computational turn taken by the society changes and examines the conditions of production and dissemination of knowledge.
2. For us, the digital humanities relate to all Social Sciences, Arts and Letters. The digital humanities are not a clean slate. They rely instead on all the paradigms, skills and knowledge specific to these disciplines, while leveraging the tools and the unique perspectives of the digital field.
3. The digital humanities designate a ‘transdiscipline’, embodying the methods, devices and heuristics related to digital opportunities in the field of humanities and social sciences.
4. We note:
- That there has been increased experimentation in the field of digital humanities and social sciences in the last half-century. What has emerged more recently – digital humanities centers- are, at present, prototypes or specific areas of application of an approach to digital humanities;
- That computational or digital approaches induce a stronger technical constraint and thus an economic one; therefore, that this constraint is an opportunity to change the collective work;
- There are a number of proven methods, known and shared unequally;
- There are multiple communities from special interest practices, tools or interdisciplinary approaches (encoding textual sources, geographic information systems, lexicometry, digitization of cultural heritage, scientific and technical web mapping , data mining, 3D, oral archives, digital arts and literature and hypermedia, etc..), and that these communities are converging to form the field of ‘digital humanities’.
5. We, the practitioners of digital humanities, are building a community of practice that is open, welcoming and freely accessible
6. We are a community without borders. We are a multilingual community and we are multidisciplinary.
7. Our aims are the advancement of knowledge, enhancing the quality of research in our disciplines, and the enrichment of the knowledge not just within but also beyond the academic sphere.
8. We call for the integration of digital culture in the definition of the general culture of the twenty-first century.
9. We call for open access to data and metadata. These must be documented and interoperable, both technically and conceptually.
10. We support the dissemination, movement and free enhancement of methods, code, formats and results of research.
11. We call for the integration of training in digital humanities within the curriculum in Social Studies in Arts and Letters. We also want the creation of specialist diplomas in the digital humanities and the development of dedicated professional training. Finally, we hope that these skills will be taken into account in recruitment and career development.
12. We are committed to building a collective competency based on a common vocabulary, which is from the collective expertise of all working practitioners. This collective expertise is to become a common good. It is a scientific opportunity but also an opportunity for professional development in all sectors.
13. We want to participate in defining and disseminating best practices related to identified disciplinary and interdisciplinary identified. These are needs will be identified as they emerge from debate and consensus amongst the communities concerned. The fundamental openness of digital humanities nevertheless provides a pragmatic approach to protocols and visions, which maintains the right to coexistence of different approaches and competing for the benefit of the enrichment of the thinking and practices.
14. We call for the construction of scalable Cyberinfrastructures responding to real needs. These Cyberinfrastructures be built iteratively, based on the finding of methods and approaches that are proven in the research communities.
(errors of translation are my own)
I am a member of the Working Group on Open Archaeology. Recently in the discussion, Anthony Beck linked to a recent presentation of his called ‘Dig the new breed: how open approaches can empower archaeologists’:
In one of his slides, he mentions Richard Bradley, from my alma mater, the University of Reading, and how Richard used the grey literature from various commercial bodies to write his history of bronze age Britain. He links to this article. As I was reading this, it occurred to me that here is a perfect opportunity for crowdsourcing… perhaps.
What would it cost to digitize all of the UK’s grey literature? Here are the plans for a $20 DIY book scanner which uses a basic point-and-shoot digital camera. And here is an open source optical character recognition package from the good people at Google.
So only two hurdles remain: getting access to the grey literature, and the man-power to do this (hence the crowdsourcing). It would be interesting perhaps for a phd student to try this out at their local archaeological consultancy, and then perhaps use some data mining techniques (like in this example) to quickly begin to extract useful information.
The technology is there… let’s make it work!
Megan Smith, an artist with an interest in the intersection of physical and virtual places, continues to do interesting things:
Pst! is the surreptitious beckoning of attention and the acronym for Physical Space Tweets. It is a small storyteller installed in public space giving an audience a glimpse into a geo-tagged community’s topic feed. For the Leeds Pavillion at Mediamatic’s Amsterdam Biennale 2009 Pst! chronicled life in Leeds through it’s twitter feed.
The piece locates a public social narrative by pulling an information feed from Twitter User profiles geographically aligned to Leeds with Twitter’s geocode API and then prints this information onto a mini LCD screen. By removing the peripheral of the computer a Pst! device can be placed in a non-space providing a window directly into a geo-located public space.
I could imagine installing one of these at say a heritage site, pulling all tweets that mention the site onto the display – or perhaps pulling the latest research on the site, to the site, for public consumption…. hmmm!
Just seen, and on my list to read:
Tubaro, P., & Casilli, A. A. (2010). ”An Ethnographic Seduction”: How
Qualitative Research and Agent-based Models can Benefit Each Other
Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 106 (1), 59-74 DOI: 10.1177/0759106309360111
A new article has just come out, co-authored with Antonio Casilli on ‘‘An Ethnographic Seduction’’: How Qualitative Research and Agent-based Models can Benefit Each Other. We propose a new form of mixed method for the social sciences, combining ethnographic research and agent-based computer simulation.
from Tubaro’s blog.
Also, from Paul Torrens, Agent-based Models and the Spatial Sciences:
[...] Geographers’ work with ABMs has helped to strengthen existing ties with related disciplines such as computer science and informatics, ecology, sustainability science, economics, anthropology, political science and the earth sciences. Primarily because of the value placed on spatial science and behavioral geography in agent-based modeling, work of this kind is helping to infuse geographical perspectives and ‘spatial thinking’ into these fields. This article reviews the development of agent-based modeling in the spatial sciences, its current uses and applications in physical and human geography and potential future trends in its research and development.
And reviews from the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation:
The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences
Reviewed by Juliette Rouchier
The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
Hedström, Peter and Bearman, Peter (eds.)
Reviewed by Flaminio Squazzoni
Complexity: A Guided Tour
Reviewed by John Bragin
Mind & Society: Special Issue on Social Simulation, Volume 8, Number 2, 2009
Squazzoni, F. (Ed)
Reviewed by Brian Castellani
You can now map your Zotero Library:
Potential Use Cases:
Map Your Collection By Key Places:
Many records from library catalogs and journal databases come pre-loaded with geographic keywords. Zotero Maps lets you quickly see the relationships between the terms catalogers, authors, and publishers have assigned to the items in your collection. Similarly, as you apply your own geographic tags to items you can then explore those geographic relationships. Whether you’re looking at key locations in studies of avian flu, ethnographic work in the American southwest, or the history of the transatlantic slave trade, the tags associated with your items provide valuable geographic information.
Map Places of Publication:
In many cases places of publication include crucial information about your items. If your working on a project involving the history of the book, how different media outlets cover an issue, or how different journals present distinct scientific points of view, the places in which those items are published can provide valuable insight.
In 2007, I was trying something along these lines using Platial (now deceased). Now – since you can add objects from things like Opencontext.org into your Zotero library, and describe these using tags, you could begin to build a map of not only ‘things’ but also the relevant reports etc, all from your browser, without doing any of the fancy coding stuff…
From my library:
I’m interested in exploring augmented realities with iPhones & other smartphones etc. Of course, where I live, you can’t actually get cell phone reception and with this being Canada, the data rates are ridiculous.
Anyway, rant aside… there are neat possibilities opening up. In an earlier post I mentioned the Wikitude World Browser, which grabs Wikipedia articles and overlays them on a ‘see-through’ type interface.
Lately, I’ve been made aware of another approach, the Voyager Xdrive. Essentially, this appears to be a hand-held guide to a historic location, with 3d reconstructions appearing at the appropriate point. My Italian is a bit rusty, and I always find it difficult when I can’t see the face of the person speaking but it seems to be quite an effective way of pulling archaeological VR off the desks of the archaeologists into the spaces where it should be understood.
I really feel the digital divide living where I do, able to read about but never able to play with these technologies…
Just seen: talesofthings.com
Wouldn’t it be great to link any object directly to a ‘video memory’ or an article of text describing its history or background? Tales of Things allows just that with a quick and easy way to link any media to any object via small printable tags known as QR codes. How about tagging your old antique clock, a building, or perhaps that object you’re about to put on eBay.
They have a free iPhone app to allow you to “scan, comment, and add location to things”. Cliocaching, anyone?
I’m entranced by the possibilities of Prezi for displaying archaeological knowledge. Prezi changes the metaphor of presentation from ‘slides’ to ‘zooming’, which (aside from a bit of nausea-inducing swirls) looks very promising.
For instance, I can imaging starting with an aerial photograph of the site – then zooming down to the ground, then zooming through to the first few days of excavation, and so on…. or alternatively, a prezi of a Harris matrix, and being able to zoom into each context to display/link to each artefact etc… (you can also pan and drag too) exciting stuff! I’ve got some materials on my other machine that I’ll be playing with.
I searched through the ‘showcase’ and found two archaeological presentations. Of the two, I think the second one by Natalie Farrell is the more effective – but then again, I haven’t tried creating one myself, so no criticisms from me until I’ve created one.
(I can’t embed them into wordpress.com, so follow the links)