RAADProject News!

After weeks of work on Omeka and a realistic assessment of our dataset, we have decided to narrow our scope. We had hoped to be able to use ten percent of the records that we obtained or about 7,000 records. We realized that the task of cleaning and translating even seven thousand records (they were in French) was herculean and one we couldn’t accomplish in the amount of time left. We have decided to work with a much smaller dataset of 50 records and have that data as pristine as possible. We also discovered that creating a database in Omeka was a more complex task than first believed given the number of fields in each record and the limits of Omeka. We decided that the scope of the project would be limited to the documenting of our work with Omeka, the process of cleaning the data, and our attempts to create a functional database instead of the original proposal of a finished database with data visualization.

We reassessed with the help of Andie Silva and Matt Gold. We decided that the entire process from the original scope to obtaining the records to the cleaning of the data to the reassessment should be documented for the benefit of others. If in the end, we only have a database (without the gallery portion) and a “white paper,” we have fulfilled the mission of the class as that is to work through the process of planning, designing, developing, and implementing a digital humanities project. In our limited scope, we will have completed those tasks to the degree which we were able. The project scope was large with seventy thousand records, an SQL backend, a gallery front-end, and a visualization of the data. We couldn’t account for the time that it took to develop the scope, get the data, learn Omeka (and Dublin Core), and Carto. All these aspects took longer than expected, and our estimates were off, but not for lack of trying. We ran out of time.

Is that disappointing? In a word, yes. We had hoped to have a small version of a finished product as stated in our original scope. However, we can also acknowledge that in adjusting our ambitions, we have matured as individuals and as a group. It has been a great learning experience and one that is not only valuable to ourselves, but we hope in our documenting the experience, will be valuable to others.



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One Comment

  1. Posted April 7, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Pam, thank you for this great post. A discussion of the hurdles you came up against and the decisions you made in response to these is almost more interesting to me as a practitioner than a beautiful, polished product would have been. I look forward to reading the white paper and learning from it. 🙂

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