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Travels into Several Remote Digital Realms of the World
PART I: A Voyage to Libraryland

My Photo
Location: Champaign, Illinois, United States


Spelling with Flickr

It's amazing how many creative things are coming out of social web services like Flickr. The little tool below sort of does a reverse OCR to find images that spell what you want. How can we capture this creativity in our digital library/museum projects?

LibRANostalgiques Epoxy letter RYyLANDd
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Digitize Everything Blog

Earlier I mentioned DigiWik, a wiki for all things digitization. Now it's patron, Michael Yunkin has started his own blog, Digitize Everything (RSS feed). Michael makes it clear that the blog is about his own work, whereas DigiWik is a owned by its community of users.


Forecast: Mostly Cloudy

The current issue of D-Lib Magazine includes Folksonomies: Tidying up Tags?. I had just been playing around earlier this week with Tag Cloud (which BTW, doesn't seem to be working for the FeedBurner URL I submitted). The article included a link to extisp.icio.us which I used to generate the cloud above. I've been in love with this kind of visualization ever since learning about TextArc last spring.

I'd love to get hold of some collections management data to see what this kind of visualization could tell us about a collection. Extisp.icio.us also runs an image search, which wasn't quite as interesting as the tag cloud. But if tags could be tied to images in a collection db it could be interesting - or for example if a similar search worked on aggregated OAI records.


Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

The folks at the Center for History and New Media launched a new prjoject this week in order to capture first-hand accounts, images, e-mails, audio, etc. related to recent hurricane disasters.

With so many people creating digital images or relying on digital media for correspondance its all at risk of being lost, especially since most of us haven't implementted fail-safe digital preservaion strategies at home. CHNM's earlier 9/11 Digital Archive has already proven invaluable as a collection of collective memory.

The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank already has a growing collection of materials, some contributed by users and others contributed through partnerships with museums and media organizations. The site also uses Google Maps to geolocate submissions.

I'm continually impressed by CHNM's can-do attitude and ability to just get stuff done. I wish them the best of luck in this new endeavor.


Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone and Happy New Year!

Apologies for the long lag since the last posting. I honestly had grand plans to spend part of my holiday break spiffy-ing things up here, but a bad case of the flu ate up the timeslots I had available after family commitments.

I'm just back from the NDIIPP partners meeting and getting ready to start the new semester.

On deck for this spring:

Storytelling - What does this have to do with digital stuff? Nothing! or at least very little on the surface. But much of what we do, from grant writing to confernece presentations is all about telling the story of our work (not to mention blogging!). This has come as a highly recommended course here at GSLIS, and I'm really excited to have something a little different on my plate.

Museum Informatics - This course was one of the main reasons I decided to come to UIUC, and I'm glad it's being offered before I leave. It's been gathering dust since Paul Marty left for Florida. This will be another course that continues to evolve through input of students during the semester. I'm looking forward to contributing my experience and also having the oppotunity to do some more research in the area.

Metadata in Theory and Practice - After last semesters exploration of traditional lirbary cataloging I'm looking forward to getting back to metadata. Somehow I feel more comfortable working in this area rather than trying to navigate through AACR2 rules. I'm glad they are there, and rules are still critical for metadata. I'd rather be manipulatinng the rules that others have applied. More opportunities to flex my XML muscles and an opportunity to work with the father of METs, Jerry McDonough.

Knowledge Representation - Will be a small seminar exploring the semantics and logic of XML markup and document structures. This will probably be the most challenging class this semester. I've been encouraged to drag out my symbolic logic textbook from 1991. This will add a nice theoretical dimension to the other practical work I'll be doing this semester.

I will be continuing as a GA on the UIUC NDIIPP project. We've gotten over some of the initial hurdles of setting up DSpace, Fedora, etc. and will be getting down to serious evaluation of the various repositories.