Digital Curation
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Teleconference with Anne Knowles

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00:03 Introduction by Jon Ippolito

00:43 Introducing DIG students.

Including Jo Ana Morfin (Mexico City), Shelley Lightburn (Tanzania), Katrina Wynn and Colin Windhorst (Maine), and later Patricia Prescott and Paul Smitherman.

What is historical geography?

01:26 Anne introduces historical geography

03:53 GIS (Geographic Information Systems) versus GPS

04:30 "95% of information collected by humans is geographic"

Teasing history from maps of Gettysburg

06:22 Extracting digital insights from analog maps

07:30 Mapping the battle of Gettysburg

11:51 How to digitize an analog map

12:57 What could Robert E. Lee see at Gettysburg?

Expanding maps from human rights to healthcare

15:54 Shelley Lightburn on using geographic data for the United Nation's Missing Persons project

17:21 The need for better education about maps

18:18 Shelley on maps as crucial evidence in the International Criminal Tribunal

18:48 Viewshed analysis: what can be seen from points on a map

20:02 Mapping community health needs in rural Maine with GIS

22:03 Jo Ana Morfin on mapping as a generalizable practice

Scanning maps

24:09 How to trace a printed map to produce a digital one

27:52 Combining analog maps with "digital stitching"

28:53 Scanning very large maps

30:48 Digitizing globes at the Osher library

31:16 Patricia Prescott on gantry scanners and cameras

Mapping the Holocaust

32:31 The Holocaust and the limits and potentials of digital scholarship

32:45 Geographies of the Holocaust book

35:10 Mapping the difference between rhetoric and reality at Auschwitz

36:36 The problem with "perpetrators' maps"

36:50 Geographic distribution of concentration camps

38:19 How can we represent the qualitative experience of victims?

Linguistic mapping and survivor testimonies

39:10 Tagging survivor testamonies with keywords

40:12 Natural language processing of transcripts

Comparing timelines of stories to correlate keywords like "Auschwitz," "bread," and "Labor."

41:40 Beyond geographic maps: linguistic and emotional correlations

43:14 Authoritative v. subjective: perpetrators' facts and victims' stories

45:12 Natural language processing v. corpus linguistics in Shoah testimonies

47:04 Patricia on maps in maritime history

47:20 Colin on individual stories within large-scale systems, as in Schindler's list

Eliciting human meaning from data

48:35 Broader issues of digital curation

49:03 Colin on inferring human stories from data in rural Maine

50:22 Can interactive books bring human voices to mapping?

51:37 Paul Smitherman on comparing genders with Big Data techniques

52:19 The Maine Historical Atlas

53:07 Jo Ana on documenting political graffiti

Crowdsourcing and openness

54:35 Crowdsourcing metadata for the 60,000 keywords in Shoah videos

55:12 Another example of crowdsourcing: Art Crimes graffiti website

56:30 What should we archive in our increasingly visual world?

The implicit bias of archivists and curators; Jo Ana's Museum of Counterculture.

58:44 Colin: "Graffiti in ancient Rome was a pretechnological Twitter"

59:08 Challenges of opening up the Shoah archive

61:13 Scalar, open archives, and linked data

Has the digital world made geography irrelevant?

62:39 Do we risk bias by importing implicit spatial metaphors into the digital world?

65:58 Drawing by hand to awaken the spatial imagination

66:41 Paul: Is there a "human geography of Facebook"?

Anne: "The digital divide is really geographical."

67:58 Facebook as geographic supplement to Arab Spring

68:50 Colin: letterforms as small-scale geography

This teleconference is a project of the University of Maine's Digital Curation program. For more information, contact ude.eniam@otiloppij.

Timecodes are in Hours: minutes

In this teleconference, Anne Knowles joined students and alumni of the UMaine Digital Curation graduate program to answer questions about how geographic data can illuminate history.

The author of numerous books on spatial history, Knowles is best known for her work in using sophisticated mapping technologies to tell stories about trauma sites such as the Holocaust. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Association of American Geographers, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Recorded on 18 November 2016, this conversation ranged from what General Lee could see at the Battle of Gettysburg to finding humanity in Auschwitz.

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