Resources for Digital Scholarly Projects

Because I wanted to share all of this in a more concrete form of show and tell, and also because I wanted to (and am supposed to/required to) contribute to the blog, I thought I would post a roundup of resources on the internet for digital presentations and storytelling with a little bit of information about them, my experience with them, and, where applicable, teaching with them.

TimelineJS

TimelineJS is produced by Northwestern’s Knight Lab, digital innovation and project workshop and laboratory. Using data from a Google Sheets spreadsheet that details things like date, event, images, descriptive text, and more, TimelineJS will crank out beautiful timelines that can incorporate maps, hypertext, multimedia, and more. I am thinking of organizing some of my dissertation research in TimelineJS, not only for its beautiful powers of presentation but for the ease with which an excel spreadsheet can be used for different types of (more scholarly and conventional) analysis of historical facts, events, etc.

In addition, I have taught with this and have built collaborative timelines with classes in lieu of textbooks, which works out well when it is (highly) scaffolded into the rest of the class’s projects. There is a very roughly hewn, initial crack at this on my course site for a class I taught at KBCC this summer.

StoryMapJS

Also from Knightlab, StoryMapJS creates a beautiful and fanciful display of information, although in this iteration it is set up my location on a map rather than date. This can be useful for displaying different types of events over both space and time. Thinking about the Slave Revolts in Jamaica resource we discussed earlier this summer, this seems like the closest tool to the one built (?) for that site. In my experience, one thing this does not do well is work on a global scale (as in a map of the world)–the lines of connection get a bit messy and as yet there is not a way to color code different kinds of connections, which would be great (thinking of individual explorers’ voyages of conquest and colonization, etc.

Gephi, as seen on Linked Jazz

More description to come, but, long story short, Linked Jazz is beautiful but Gephi WILL KILL YOUR COMPUTER!

WordPress storytelling with Aesop Story Engine

The sample here is a better example than aesop’s own on its site for both scholarly and pedagogical projects.

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