Licensing• Did you pay for the tool/platform that youwant to use?• Did you have to pay for it once, or do youhave to renew it annually?• How will your users interact with theplatform?
Licensing, continued• Case 1:• You probably produce many documents in MicrosoftWord, and send them to other people (or printthem out to give to people.)• Case 2:• You produce documents in Microsoft Word, and youwant other people to edit those documents withyou, using Microsoft Word’s collaborative editingfeatures.
Ownership• In what space was your project built?• Your personal site?• The university’s webspace?• Where is the project supposed to “live”after completion?• Where did the funding for the projectcome from?
Platform Support & Lifespan• Who made the platform you want to use?• Is it open source?• What kind of user support is available?• How is maintenance of the platform (notyour project, but the platform itself)funded? (Grants? Donations?)• Is it new and shiny? Or old and reliable?
Who is your audience?• You• Specialized scholarly audience• Other digital/multimodal scholars• Students• The general public
Flexibility• Can you import your data (i.e., prepare itoutside of the platform?)• Can you export your data?• In a way that allows other people tosee what the platform does?• In a way that allows you to use thedata in other platforms?
Robustness• For a platform to be “robust,” it needs to be able tohandle unexpected input or actions in a way thatallows the user to fix the problem and continue withminimal fuss.• While this definition of robust is generally agreedupon, the precise standards for robustness areessentially subjective.
Is it robust?• If something goes wrong, does the platformreturn a blank screen, or crash entirely?• If something goes wrong, does the platformprovide an error message that allows youto figure out what part of your inputcaused the problem?NOT ROBUST!ROBUST!
Hosting• If a platform is web-based (sometimes referred to as “server-side”), thensomeone else is making sure that the platform works, and gets upgraded.• Pro: you don’t have to install or maintain it.• Con: you’re dependent on being online for the platform to work.• If the platform is locally hosted (sometimes referred to as “client-side”),then it’s on your computer.• Pro: you don’t have to be online! (this is handy anytime you’redemonstrating your project outside of your home institution)• Con: you may need to have more programming skills to install andmaintain the platform on your own machine/server.
Visibility• Some platforms may allow you to use themfor free, provided you make your datapublic:• Are you concerned about other peopleaccessing your data?• Could your data be consideredsomeone else’s property?
The choices you makein choosing tools are anessential part of yourdocumentation.
On with the tools!• Data visualization (ManyEyes)• Mapping/GIS tools(Community Walk,Google Maps, Google Earth,ArcGIS)• MIT Simile• Display (Scalar, Omeka)• Project Management (Pivotal Tracker)
Many Eyes• Free text and numerical data visualizationengine, made by IBM• http://www-958.ibm.com/software/analytics/manyeyes/• Usable on Mac/PC, but only in browsersthat run Java (i.e., not Google Chrome)
Pros• Easy to try out differentvisualizations using the same text• Easy to upload datasets• Allows visualizations to be savedand emailed to other peoplewho can view them without alogin• Access to everyone else’s dataset• Only accessible online• No export capability• Dependent on Java• No privacy: your data iseveryone’s dataCons
Pros• Free!• Web-based• Reasonable range of functionality• Allows multiple maps to be createdin one account• Unique site login can be sharedwithout compromising onlinepersona• Can’t block ads• Awkward User Interface (UI)Cons
Pros• Free!• Web-based• Unobtrusive ads• Reasonable range of functionality• Linked to Google Account foreasy portability/access• Designed for navigation• Linked to existing GoogleAccount• Lack of functionality• Dependent on Googlemaintaining the toolCons
Pros• Free!• No ads• Historical map integration• Robust functionality• May need to pay for pro-account, depending on yourgoals• Not web-based• May be more complex than youneed• Dependent on Googlemaintaining itCons
Pros• Free!• Open access for easy collaboration• Web-based or locally hosted• Unique (no current rivals)• Highly customizable• Data can be stored in GoogleDoc• Open access and always indevelopment (stability issues)• Requires HTML, moreprogramming skill forcustomization• Documentation is spottyCons
Pros• Free!• Web-based• Unique in its capability forcreating non-linear paths• Customizable• Supported by investment anduse of multiple organizations• It’s in open beta, and still new• It requires you to hostmaterial on the Scalar website• Documentation is not yetextensive• Dependent on continuedfundingCons
Pros• Free (for public projects, andnon-profit/academic projects)• Supported by paid users• Customizable• Sophisticated, friendly user-interface• iOS compatible• It’s project managementsoftware -- not a projectplatform• Dependent on yourwillingness to make yourproject public, continuedfunding, or academic/nonprofitstatusCons
Just a few of the many placesyou can check for tools:https://www.washington.edu/itconnect/wares/uware/http://dirt.projectbamboo.org/http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/
Using (new) digitaltools means that youwill inevitably need helpat some point.
Learning how to ask forhelp is important.Learning how to Googlefor it is vital.
In the end, you are onlyas good as your dataset.
Q:What makes a gooddata set?A: Knowledge of itscomponents; andaccessibility of metadata.
What are the components ofthe objects you work with?• Book: words, pages, author(s), editor(s), publisher(s),reader(s), physical edition(s), digital editions, readerresponses• Performance: sound/video file, performer, venue,date/time, program
This:Book: words, pages, author(s), editor(s), publisher(s), reader(s),physical edition(s), digital editions, reader responsesgets broken down evenfurther.
<text xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0"xml:id="d1"><body xml:id="d2"><div1 type="book" xml:id="d3"><head>Songs of Innocence</head><pb n="4"/><div2 type="poem" xml:id="d4"><head>Introduction</head><lg type="stanza"><l>Piping down the valleys wild, </l><l>Piping songs of pleasant glee, </l><l>On a cloud I saw a child, </l><l>And he laughing said to me: </l></lg>TEI Encoding of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence(from TEI By Example: http://www.TEIbyexample.org)
Depending on the decisionsyou make regarding yourdata, people will be able todo different things with it.
Your decisions mayimpact the compatibilityof your data with othertools/platforms.
This is why weemphasize that DH is ahighly social andcollaborative field.