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Open Historical Maps: Crowdsourcing, Open Source GIS, and the Research Web

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Geography has disappeared from the social sciences as an independent discipline, even as the Internet has given rise to the development of "digital history" as a new media practice. How can we …

Geography has disappeared from the social sciences as an independent discipline, even as the Internet has given rise to the development of "digital history" as a new media practice. How can we leverage the latest technologies and techniques of the Web to bring geography back front-and-center to research in the humanities?

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  • 1. Open Historical Maps Crowdsourcing, Open Source GIS, and the Research Web SHEKHAR KRISHNAN & SCHUYLER ERLE Harvard ABCD GIS Group, 15 April 2009
  • 2. Where?
  • 3. How to Bring Geography Back into Humanities? Back of the Book Problem Maps as Illustrations, not Arguments  Web of References and Locations in Research  Geography and Bibliography as Tacit Knowledge  History, Ethnography and GIS Disappearance of Geography from Social Science   Lack of Training and Technical Dependence  High Social Theory versus Empiricism of GIS 
  • 4. History as New Media Digital Humanities and History  Web Archives and Digital Libraries  Amateur Enthusiasm and Hacking  Open Source Software Development  http://chnm.gmu.edu
  • 5. History Web + Geospatial Web History Web Zotero 1.0 – Capturing Citations and Publishing Bibliographies  Zotero 2.0 – Sharing Collections and Scholarly Collaboration on the Web  Zotero Maps  Geospatial Web Gutenkarte – Geographic Text Browser   NYPL Map Rectifier – Georeferencing Historical Maps   NYPL Map Digitizer – Vectorizing and Annotating Historical Layers 
  • 6. Gutenkarte http://gutenkarte.org Zotero http://www.zotero.org
  • 7. NYPL Map Rectifier http://dev.maps.nypl.org/warper/users/8 http://dev.maps.nypl.org/warper/mapscans? field=title&query=Queens&show_warped=0 http://dev.maps.nypl.org/warper/mapscans/8124
  • 8. NYPL Map Digitizer http://dev.maps.nypl.org/digitizer/www/nypl/view2.htm http://dev.maps.nypl.org/warper/mapscans/activity
  • 9. Geospatial Web Open Source GIS OpenLayers  GDAL, GeoServer, PostGIS  Geospatial Web Services WMS  WFS  KML  GeoRSS 
  • 10. http://osgeo.org
  • 11. Crowdsourcing? “I find the term incredibly irritating... Any  company that thinks it’s going to build a site by  outsourcing all the work to its users not only  disrespects the users but completely  misunderstands what it should be doing. Your  job is to provide a structure for your users to  collaborate, and that takes a lot of work”.  Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia
  • 12. http://openstreetmap.org
  • 13. http://openstreetmap.org
  • 14. 8 Reasons Some Wikis Work 1. Clear goal 2. Worth doing 3. Objective standards 4. Made from small pieces 5. Each piece is useful 6. Segmented subjects 7. Personally useful 8. Enjoyable work
  • 15. Collaborative Best Practices Public Editing  Identity  Profile  Keeping Score  Revision History  Commentary  Provenance  (Geo)RSS Feeds  Change Tracking  Rollback 
  • 16. Open Historical Maps Crowd Control  Curators Designing Historical Schemas  Versioning and Resolving Disputes  Time Travel  Time in GIS  Chronological Annotation of Features  Disambiguation  Geographic, Toponymic and Chronological Ambiguity  Open Gazeteers 
  • 17. NYPL Maps Beta http://dev.maps.nypl.org SHEKHAR KRISHNAN shekhar@mit.edu SCHUYLER ERLE schuyler@entropyfree.com  Entropy Free LLC

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